1) Once a mediator is contacted, the mediator will want to agree on a place to meet all parties in an agreed comfortable environment.
2) The mediator will go over some standard ground rules for the discussion between parties. Parties are welcome to add rules governing fair, equal, and respectful treatment towards one another, setting the stage for a successful discussion to take place.
3) After setting the stage for effective discussion to take place, each party will have the opportunity to state the problem in which has brought you to a mediator, from each party prospective. Each party will explain what they believe to be the issues. Each party will be given fair amount of time to be heard and understood by the mediator.
4) After statement/explanation of the issues by each individual party, the mediator will summarize everyone’s prospective and reflect upon what each party has stated. At this time, each party will provide clarification and/or further information to correct any misunderstanding or agree that the summarization/reflection given by the mediator is accurate.
5) Once issues are fully understood an agenda for discussion will be generated and agreed upon by each party. Agenda topics may be added or excluded at this time.
6) With the agenda in place, it acts as a foundation, for discussion to move forward. Each party will discuss with one another, along with mediator guidance, the topics on the agenda. The mediator will take notes and revisit any topic that was not fully satisfied through the initial conversation. The mediator may meet with each party privately on an individual basis throughout the mediation process to gain further insight on an area of discussion. During this time, if one of the individuals prefers the mediator to keep something, they have said confidential, from the other party, the mediator must not repeat the information to the other party. But, rather allow it to come forth through the party’s discussions.
7) The goal of mediation is for parties to gain insight of their issues, through the other parties prospective. Through understanding the other party’s perspective, feelings, situation, options may then be generated. By options being generated, bargaining of those options begin to occur. Bargaining different options can result in reaching an agreement between the parties on disputes that otherwise seemed to be at an impasse.
Mediation is far quicker and easier then going to court.
Payment options are available, for some low-income budgets, legal aid will sometimes cover the costs, Effective Mediations will provide a sliding scale (based on income), or other times completely free of charge. This process is a benefit to society as a whole, it is based in functional relationships with one another – everyone should be able to obtain these benefits.