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WHAT IS MEDIATION?

To learn more about what mediation is, how it works, and why you should consider it as an effective option for resolving a wide range of disputes, please read the information on this page, and watch the videos below. Or, click the button below to request mediation now.

In mediation, a neutral person (the mediator) helps the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement to their dispute. Any agreement is recorded and may be filed as an enforceable contract. Mediation is informal, voluntary, and confidential. The process gives the parties the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the disagreement, clear up misunderstandings, determine underlying interests or concerns, and draft an agreement. Any agreement reached in mediation is the agreement of both parties.

Reasons to Mediate  

1. Mediation is Fair and Neutral.
Parties have an equal say in the process and they, not the mediator, decide the terms of the agreement. There is time for the parties to discuss and consider underlying issues. Mediation can be used to negotiate disagreements that are not appropriate for court.

2. Mediation Saves Time and Money.
Mediation can be used to resolve most disputes: monetary, personal, family or other. Legal representation is allowed in some cases but attorneys are not necessary and are often discouraged. This allows the parties to save money and to have a direct voice in the agreement. Mediation can usually be scheduled within a few days of request (a session lasts approximately two hours) and the cost is based on a sliding scale which takes the income of the parties into account.

3. Mediation, Not Litigation.
Mediation can be used as an initial attempt at agreement before court action is sought or it may be used as the only avenue available in certain areas of disagreement. A settlement reached in mediation can eliminate the need for litigation and, thereby, the uncertainty of a judicial decision. The parties draft their own agreement which may be legally binding.

4. Mediation is Confidential.
All parties sign a confidentiality agreement which states that anything discussed in mediation is confidential.

5. Mediation Fosters Cooperation.
Mediation fosters problem-solving and invites cooperation. This is especially important where the preservation of a relationship is critical, which may occur between parents negotiating a parenting plan, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and landlords and tenants.

6. Mediation Improves Communication.
Mediation provides a safe, neutral, and mutually satisfactory resolution, which allows for preservation of the relationship.

7. Mediation Allows You to Design Your Own Solution.
A neutral third party assists the parties in reaching a voluntary, mutually beneficial resolution. Mediation can resolve all issues important to the parties, not just the original disagreement.

8. With Mediation, Everyone Wins.
An independent survey showed 96% of all respondents and 91% of all initiating parties who used mediation would use it again.

 

Find out more about the intake process here. Or, click the button below to request mediation now.

Please note: NMC does not provide legal advice

Note: Northwest Mediation Center does not provide legal advice.  NMC always recommends that each party consult an independent attorney regarding her/his legal rights and responsibilities, to help make fully-informed decisions in mediation.

Click on these links for some “independent study” legal information:

Washington Law Help and WA Attorney General

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