"I can't believe my neighbor lets his dog bark all night." "You are not going out of the house dressed like that, young lady." "I've been a stay at home Mom, why should my husband get 50% custody?"
Although much mediation is court ordered, no court order is necessary for you to initiate a process that can lead to a final resolution of those tough disagreements that occur in all our lives. Mediation can be a way to avoid litigation, but I can also be a way to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem.
These statements ,and hundreds others like them, indicate a basic conflict that people can't resolve for themselves. While people think of mediation only in the context of divorce, it can help anyone who has a problem in an ongoing relationship, whether as distant as neighbors or as close as parent child.
Most importantly, mediation allows the parties to have a continuing relationship, that, while significantly different than their original relationship, encourages continuing cooperation.
HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK?: Mediation works primarily by bringing respect back into the conversations that people have about difficult subjects. Each party is allowed to speak their position without interruption, while being cautioned not to use inflammatory language and name calling. The conversation continues until the issue is clarified and each party has had an opportunity to state the resolution they desire. With the help of the mediator everyone works together to find a solution that each party can accept.