A mediator is a person that is trained in understanding how conflict works, what makes it better, what makes it worse, and how to help you get through it without destroying your relationships. The mediator is a neutral party, or one that has no interest in the results of the mediation. This is extremely important so that both sides feel that their interests are being protected.
Mediation is a voluntary process where people that are in conflict come together with a mediator to try to reach an understanding so that they can move forward. The disagreements they might find themselves in range from a neighbors’ dog that barks all night, to child custody or business disputes and anywhere in between. The people in conflict are called the parties and they will meet with the mediator either in person, or online and the mediator will begin to hear each parties story of why there is a problem.
Mediation is not a formal legal proceeding with evidence and rules of procedure. Each mediator will have their own way of conducting their mediations and they vary greatly depending on the parties and the type of issues.
Once the basic problem is outlined, the mediator will ask more questions to try to find out how help you and the other party to work together to come to an understanding of how you want to move forward. The process is something that is owned by the parties. That means that getting to an understanding is the responsibility of the parties and not the mediator. The mediator will help to guide you and allow you to express your frustrations in a constructive and safe place.
A key requirement to mediate is that all the parties involved want to come to an agreement and are willing to work together. If this cannot be done, litigation is an alternative that people may want to consider.
The mediation process can include support persons and attorneys. It is always a good idea to have an attorney review your memorandum of understanding before you sign it if you are at all uncomfortable. If there are financial or tax issues it is important to enlist the help of this type of professional as well.
I hope this has been helpful……