What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which the people directly involved in a dispute make decisions together based upon their understanding of their own views, of one another’s views and of the reality that they face together. The process is completely voluntary and either party may leave the process at any time.
A mediator is a person trained to work as a non-coercive neutral who assists the persons involved in a dispute in crafting a solution to their mutual problem which serves them better than the available alternatives (including solutions potentially imposed upon them by the justice system). Mr. Chernetsky believes that you understand your own lives and your mutual situation better than anyone else does, and that with help, you are in the best position to find effective solutions.
In a mediation, the parties hire a qualified individual to serve as their mediator, and not as an attorney for either of them. It is common that parties retain separate attorneys for the purpose of reviewing any agreement that has been negotiated.
What Types of Disputes Can Be Mediated?
If you can argue with someone about a problem that exists between you, then that problem can probably be mediated successfully. As long as the parties to a dispute agree that mediation is potentially helpful, the dispute can likely be mediated.
Mediation of a conflict is inherently less adversarial than is litigating that conflict. As a result, mediation can reduce the emotional toll of a dispute upon the parties involved. In the case of divorce, there is research suggesting that one of the key factors in healthy post-divorce adjustment for children is low parental conflict. According to the American Psychological Association,
[t]he manner in which parents resolve conflict has been determined to affect child
adjustment. Chronic, unresolved conflict is associated with greater emotional insecurity
in children. Fear, distress, and other symptoms in children are diminished when parents
resolve their conflicts and when they use compromise and negotiation methods rather
than verbal attacks.1
Mediation is also usually more cost effective than is litigation. There is usually a higher level of compliance with mediated agreements
1 ‘An Overview of the Psychological Literature on the Effects of Divorce on Children,’ May, 2004, Accessed May 26, 2015, at http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/cyf/divorce.aspx.
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