You’re in the midst of a divorce.  You’re having a dispute with your neighbor.  You’re having a disagreement with your business partner.  What do you do?  Mediation is one resource that might help.

Who is a mediator?  A mediator is considered a neutral who helps people to overcome a conflict, disagreement, or dispute.  The mediator does not represent either party.   In Minnesota, mediators are not licensed or certified; however, many mediators have gone through training.  In Minnesota a person can go through 30 hours of training for civil mediation or 40 hours of training for family law mediation.  Sometimes a mediator is an attorney but this background is not required and there are mediators with therapy, counseling, or social work backgrounds.

What is mediation?  Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).  The mediator facilitates communication between parties promoting a resolution. 

When use mediation?  Mediation can be useful for resolving conflicts.  For instance, mediation is useful to resolve parenting time disputes, custody matters, and other parenting time issues.  It can also be used for neighborhood conflicts, business issues, and community matters.

Where is mediation done?  For family law matters, typically mediation is done in an office setting or some place that is private and yet comfortable for discussions.  Mediators may use their own offices or may travel to another setting such as an attorney’s office.

Why use mediation?  Mediation can help improve communication between the parties, resolve issues, avoid litigation, and save money.  It allows individuals and not a stranger (i.e., judge) to make decisions. 

Worthwhile?  According to the National Conflict Resolution Center’s website, mediating a divorce can substantially keep the costs down, centers on the children, confidential information remains confidential, divorces are done faster, and is less stressful than litigating the divorce.  http://www.ncrconline.com/Divorce/MediationVsLitigation.php

Our law firm offers family law mediation for divorces, custody issues, parenting time issues, and other family centered matters.  Feel free to contact our office to schedule mediation.