WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FACILITATIVE MEDIATION
What is mediation?
Mediation is a private, confidential, and voluntary conflict resolution process. Trained, impartial mediators act as guides helping to direct, but not control, the discussion.
Is this meeting confidential?
Yes. Confidentiality begins with your personal information. We do not disclose personal information about our clients or their circumstances, without their consent. Anything discussed during the mediation is confidential; any notes the mediators take during the mediation are destroyed.
Who are mediators?
Our mediators are members of the community just like you. They come from all walks of life and are certified, professional mediators who volunteer their services. They do not take sides and they do not decide right and wrong.
What is the timeline?
If you are requesting the mediation, we will open your case once you have submitted both the request and payment for mediation services. We then send an Invitation to Mediate to the person you would like to mediate with and give them two weeks to respond to the invitation. If they agree to mediate and pay the fee, we begin to coordinate and schedule a date for the mediation to take place. The length of this process depends on how easily both sides are able to coordinate a date. Once a date has been set, we contact our mediators to see who is available to mediate on that particular date. The length of this process depends on how quickly we can find mediators who are available. Once we find the mediators, we send both parties a confirmation letter. Most mediations take about a month to schedule.
If the other person declines to mediate, or if one of you must cancel the mediation, we generate a Service Report. This is a legal document stating the reason why the mediation was not held.
What should I expect when I arrive?
One of our staff will greet you and make you comfortable in one of our waiting areas. The other party will be in a separate waiting area. If you have a support person with you (a family member or friend), they may wait here and are available to speak with you during breaks. There are usually at least two breaks, but you may always ask for a break if you need one.
What happens in the mediation session?
Your mediators will introduce themselves and show you both into your mediation room. To start with, they will explain the process. Both of you will be given the opportunity to talk about the issues and concerns that brought you to mediation. Then, they will open the discussion to the both of you and provide some guidance to help you talk to each other about these issues. You will have a chance to tell the other person how you feel and what you want and a chance to listen to how they feel and what they want. If the two of you work out an agreement, the mediators will assist you in getting it written, making sure it says what you want, and provide you both with copies. We expect that everyone who comes to mediation will do so in good faith. Good faith means listening when the other party speaks, sharing necessary information, engaging in dialogue, and being willing to live up to agreements.
What is the outcome?
When your mediation session finishes, you will receive copies of the Agreement to Mediate and any written agreements you have worked out. In the case of a parenting plan modification, we provide you with step-by-step instructions for how to file your agreement with the court as an addendum to your current parenting plan.
How much time will it take?
Please set aside four hours for this mediation session. If more time is needed, you can request another session. New fees would apply to a second session.
In a facilitative mediation, all parties are in one room together with two trained mediators helping them work toward a mutually agreeable solution. The clients represent themselves, although an attorney or third party may be present to observe with consent from both parties. An attorney may support their client with legal advice during breaks.
Facilitative mediation does not fulfill court requirements unless a Judge or Commissioner makes an exception. PCCDR does not file in court.
Examples of Facilitative Mediation include Parenting Plan Modifications, Landlord/Tenant disputes, and Dissolutions.
How Attorneys Participate Effectively in Facilitative Mediation
Attorney’s role when in the mediation session:
Attorneys support their clients in the mediation session by listening and observing but do not actively represent them. When they need to give legal advice, they may request a break or a caucus to have private conversations with their client. After the initial stages, when options are being explored and details are being worked out for an agreement, the Attorneys may contribute and are often very helpful.
When the opposing party has legal representation but that counsel is not present, the Rules of Professional Conduct limit the ability of the attorney to speak with the opposing party.
Attorney’s role when not present in the mediation room:
The client may contact their Attorney during the session breaks by phone to confer and review the terms of the agreement.
Attorneys refer many cases to PCCDR and have found the Center to be a useful addition to the quality of the services they offer to their clients. They trust the mediators to help the parties work through difficult emotional conversations, reach agreements in principle and then return to the Attorney to file proper paperwork at court or take the next steps to deal with the legal issues.
See our Fees & PoliciesRequest A Mediation