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Frequently Asked Questions

If we haven't been able to settle it, why would mediation work?

  • Even if you have tried to resolve the issue, new opportunities may surface when a neutral third party is involved. The mediator's job is to help the parties understand what is contributing to the disagreement and to explore a range of options to resolve the matter.


How can I make the other party live up to the agreement?

  • In the course of reaching agreement, the mediator covers contingency plans in case one party or the other does not fulfill terms of the agreement. The terms of the agreement are written up and signed by the parties, so there is a record of the agreement.


How long does it take?

  • Each case is different. The mediator will allow the process to take the time it takes. Much depends on the motivation of the parties to reach agreement. Initial sessions are usually scheduled for 2 to 3 hours and many issues can be resolved in that time. Additional sessions are scheduled as necessary.


Do I have to be in the same room as the other party?

  • Generally, communication and problem-solving works best when parties sit down together. If you are uncomfortable with that prospect, talk with the mediator about your concerns.


Do I need a lawyer?

  • Mediation is an informal process that does not require an attorney. Parties may which to consult an attorney in order to evaluate their options before mediation and to seek advice on any agreement they are considering. Attorneys are included in mediations if the parties desire.


How much does it cost?

  • Mediation fees are set by individuals. Some will work on a sliding fee scale based on income, others have a standard fee, generally ranging from $25 to $100 per hour. Mediation fees are usually split by the parties.


What if we can't reach agreement?

  • If one of the parties chooses to end the mediation, or if both parties cannot reach agreement, they can seek legal remedies. The mediator cannot be called to testify about what was said.


Can I make the other party mediate?

  • If you are already in legal proceedings, you can ask the judge to order mediation. If you are not in a civil lawsuit, you can't force the other party into mediation. Usually a mediator will be willing to talk with the other party to explain the process, and identify the obstacles to agreeing to mediate.
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