Home » About Mediation
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an informal, voluntary process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps disputing parties to examine their issues, clarify their perceptions and to explore and develop options leading to mutually agreeable outcomes. The mediator does not give legal advice and does not decide how the dispute should be resolved. Instead, the mediator guides the parties through an informal process where the issues are discussed, options for resolving the problem are generated, and mutually acceptable solutions for an agreement are considered. The mediator facilitates the process but it is the parties who decide how the problem will be resolved. To get started, call any one of the DRC locations, most convenient to you, by clicking here for contact information.
Why Use Mediation?
Mediation provides you with an opportunity to resolve issues in a confidential setting with the guidance and support of an experienced and neutral mediator. You can work towards a solution at your own pace and mediation sessions can be scheduled at convenient times. You can avoid costly litigation and court involvement.
Mediation offers each disputant:
- An opportunity to be heard
- An opportunity to develop new ways of dealing with a problem
- An opportunity to create his or her own solution
- An opportunity to save time, expense and the emotional distress of living with unresolved conflict
Who Are The Mediators?
Mediators are members of your community who come from all walks of life. DRC's volunteer mediator panel includes homemakers, educators, business and professional people who range from student to senior status. What they all have in common is a strong desire to assist others to effectively manage and resolve conflict. They are great listeners and communicators who are skilled at guiding people through various conflict resolution processes with neutrality, confidentiality, sensitivity and fairness. DRC's mediators all receive extensive and professional training, and participate in continuing educational opportunities required to maintain their active status on the panel.
What About Attorneys?
The mediation process is less formal than court. It does not involve the introduction of evidence or the presentation of testimony. While parties may bring an attorney to assist them during a mediation session, it isn't necessary since any agreement reached in mediation can be reviewed by the attorney before it is finalized.
What Does It Cost?
Most of DRC's alternative dispute resolution services are offered free of charge. For example, there is no cost for court referred and community cases. Where there are associated fees, such as divorce mediation, fees are based on a reasonable hourly fee.
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is as easy as calling any one of the DRC locations most convenient to you.