Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists two or more participants in resolving a dispute. The third party, the mediator, works to help the parties reach an agreement, but the mediator has no decision-making authority and cannot tell either party what to do.
The following are things that people may not know about mediation, but should.
Mediation is confidential. The mediator cannot disclose any communications between the parties unless authorized to do so and cannot be called to be a witness in any litigation. The parties themselves can communicate the results of the mediation unless they are restricted by the mediation agreement. Most often the mediation agreement is presented to the court as the basis for dismissing the case if it is in litigation.
Mediators are neutral. Though no decision will be made by a mediator, a mediator must remain neutral to both parties. The agreement made is up to the parties to decide and not the mediator.
Mediation is mandatory for family law. According to utcourts.gov, “…parties are required to participate in at least one session of mediation and attempt to resolve the issues in dispute. Parties must participate in mediation before the case can move forward in the court system, unless they are excused from the mediation requirement for good cause.This requirement does not preclude the entry of pretrial (temporary) orders.”
Over all, mediation is a great alternative to court when trying to come to an agreement in a case. Mediation is quicker, allows creative outcomes, and leaves everyone with better feelings.