1. Why Mediation

Mediation is especially appropriate where you expect to have an ongoing relationship with the other party well after the current dispute has been resolved. Some examples:

• Divorcing couples (especially where children are involved)
• Customers and vendors
• Partners and Joint Ventures
• Franchisors and Franchisees
• Principals and Agents
• Employers and Employees

Mediation allows you to arrive at creative arrangements that you will never be able to get from a judge.

Mediation allows you to reach agreements without going through the nastiness of litigation which could permanently damage relationships.

Mediation allows you to save a bundle of money by getting you out of an expensive litigation process.

2. What is family mediation?

Family mediation helps families avoid traditional litigation where they would attend court and settle the dispute with a trial. It is a process used by families engaged in disputes related to personal issues, such as divorce or custody issues. Mediation provides a controlled environment in which families discuss their issues and find a resolution that works for everyone involved in the matter. Each person has an opportunity to share his or her concerns and determine whether or not a potential solution is viable. Instead of allowing a judge or jury settle the matter, the family members are directly involved and responsible for the outcome of the dispute.

3. When is family mediation useful?

Family mediation is useful when families are unable to settle a dispute, but would prefer to avoid the expense and time-consuming nature of traditional litigation. It is understandable why disputes arise within families, especially when the care or custody of a loved one is at issue. Family mediation can also be useful for couples ending their marriage, but still wishing to remain co-parents. Instead of giving control to a judge or jury, mediation allows those directly affected by the dispute to be part of the resolution. This makes it easier to continue relationships once the dispute is settled and even improve communication within the family based on the skills learned in mediation.

4. Is mediation expensive?

Mediation generally costs less than traditional litigation. There are several reasons for this. First, mediation takes less time. There is no need to wait for a court date or endure the process of discovery. Resolving a dispute in mediation might take only one or two mediation sessions. Additionally, disputing parties have the option of not hiring individual legal representation, which means there are no attorney’s fees. In many cases, the only cost involved in mediation is the mediator’s fee, which many parties decide to split between them. Likewise, much of the “legwork” involved in mediation is handled by disputing parties, further reducing the cost it would take for a legal staff to research and organize materials.

5. How long does mediation take?

It varies from issue to issue, but many are settled within one or two mediation sessions, each lasting just a few hours. The thing many disputing parties like about mediation is the control they have over how long the process takes. Since many of the background details regarding a dispute are already known to those involved and there is no waiting periodfor a judge, mediation can be a very efficient process. If disputing parties want to find a resolution quickly, they are free to compromise and do whatever it takes to cut down on the time spent in legal process.

6. Is mediation private?

Yes. The only thing that will become a matter of public record is the final resolution. All of the details discussed during the mediation remain private. This allows disputing parties to speak their mind without concern their words will later be used against them. The only people who will know content of what is discussed during mediation are the disputing parties, the mediator, and attorneys (only if parties choose to have representation).

7. How do I begin mediation?

The first step to resolving a family or elder care dispute through mediation is to make sure parties are willing to meet with a mediator. Then you must identify a skilled mediator. The staff of Zenith Advisors are natural, impartial, third party mediators who will work to find an amiable resolution for the parties involved in the dispute.