What is mediation and how can it help me?
People have problems and disputes; that is a fact of life. There are limited options available for how two people can resolve their differences. Suing someone, or in the case of a divorce, going through a formal contested proceeding, is almost always an option but it is not always the best option.
Lawsuits and contested divorces have a number of problems including cost, overloaded court schedules, and the time and effort needed to produce required documents. For many people there is a better way to solve a problem—mediation.
Mediation is a semi-formal process in which a licensed, certified, neutral third party (the mediator) conducts a series of conversations with all the people involved. This individual may also read supporting documents or actually visit disputed locations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mediation
- If I am interested in pursuing mediation do I have to file a lawsuit first?
- No, mediation can be started at any point, including before a lawsuit is even filed.
- How do I go about starting a mediation with another party?
- After you contact us, we will set up an initial appointment during which we will provide documentation on how to present mediation to the other party. One option is for you to present mediation to the other party and another (more common) option is for Make It Happen Law to approach the other party and express your intentions.
- Who pays for mediation?
- In general the costs of mediation are split 50/50. This continues the goal of a good faith effort by both parties to come to a resolution. However, it should be made clear that there is no way to "force" the other party to pay for his/her share of mediation. In some cases, one party feels that it is in his/her interest to pay for the entirety of mediation.
- What will happen at my initial appointment?
- During your first appointment we will ask you the basic facts of your case. We will explain in greater detail the pros and cons of mediation as it relates to your case. If we determine that mediation is something you would like to try, then the initial meeting will be very short. The reason for this is that mediation works best if each party tells me his/her side of the story at the first mediation session. Mediation is most successful when the mediator remains neutral.
- What happens after my initial appointment?
- We will contact the other party and explain the situation and your request to mediate with him/her. If the other party agrees then we will have a short meeting, similar to your initial appointment, with that party. If the other party refuses to mediate, then we will be in contact with you again to go over your options. One option could include hiring Make It Happen Law as your attorney to represent you in a traditional court process.
- What if mediation fails?
- If mediation fails you are basically back to where you are right now except you have a better understanding of where the other side is coming from. You are still totally able to pursue a traditional court process if you feel that it would be in your best interests. Please note that if Make It Happen Law acts as a mediator for your issue than we are not eligible to represent you if you decide to proceed with a traditional court process.
- Why can't Make It Happen Law represent me in a traditional court process if mediation fails?
- Both parties are required to sign a document before mediation can begin which states that they understand that Jeff Mason and Make It Happen Law will be acting as a "third party neutral" in this issue. That means that we will NOT be advocating for one side or the other. Instead we will remain neutral and unbiased to facilitate a fair and equitable resolution. If mediation fails, each party will likely hire his/her own attorney who will be an advocate for his/her case.