Helping Parents Design and Plan for Access, Visitation & Custody of Their Children.
Definition of Mediation
WHAT IS MEDIATION? Mediation is an informal, voluntary, and confidential way to resolve disagreements. A mediator helps people in conflict discuss concerns and, when possible, come to an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, they are free to go to court and have a judge make a decision on the issues. What is said in mediation is confidential, so if the parties do end up in court, the judge does not know anything that was said in the mediation.
WHAT HAPPENS IN MEDIATION? The mediation process will vary depending on the mediator. Generally, the mediator will start by describing how the process will work. Then each party will tell the mediator about why they are in mediation. The mediator will help ask some questions to make sure that they understand the issues from both parties’ perspectives. The mediator will then help the parties discuss the issues in dispute and possible solutions. During the mediation, the mediator may meet with the parties together or separately.
The mediator is not a judge and will not make any decisions about the case. It is up to the parties to decide if they can come to an agreement, or whether they need to go to court and let a judge decide. If you have any questions during the mediation process, you should ask your mediator.
HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE? While the time required for mediation varies, the mediation session often takes less than half a day.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MEDIATION?
Parties have more input and control over the outcome of their own problem.
Disputes can be settled promptly. A mediation session can be scheduled as soon as both parties agree to use mediation to resolve the dispute.
Mediation promotes better relationships through cooperative problem-solving and improved communication.
Both facts and feelings are considered with the help of an impartial mediator.
Mediation is private and confidential. The mediator and parties must maintain, to the full extent required by law, the confidentiality of the information disclosed during mediation.
Mediation is voluntary, and may be terminated at any time by a party or the mediator. Although in court-referred mediation the parties may be ordered to attend a mediation session, any agreement is entirely voluntary. In the absence of agreement, the parties retain their right to take the dispute before a judge or jury.
Mediation costs may be significantly less than taking a case to court, especially if mediation is chosen prior to filing a lawsuit.
Arkansas ADR commission
625 Marshall Street Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: (501) 682-9400 Fax: (501) 682-9410