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Resolving Conflict Peacefully and Effectively
Mediation: resolving conflict between individuals
As an alternative to living with the stress of conflict or the anxiety of the formal legal system, mediation can help people in conflict find workable solutions quickly and affordably. Using a voluntary and confidential process, neutral mediators help parties in conflict reach a mutually satisfying agreement. Mediators assist parties in communicating with each other and encourage everyone to collaboratively problem solve a resolution that meets everyone's needs. Mediation can be used in a variety of disputes, including but not limited to:
- Family: including divorce, parenting plan, elder care and parent/teen issues
- Foreclosure (Learn more about the Foreclosure Fairness Program, Washington State Department of Commerce)
Foreclosure Mediation Payment Form
Preparing for Mediation
What can I expect in mediation?
Role of the Mediator: Mediators at the DRC are neutral, third party facilitators. They are present to help the clients communicate effectively about their dispute and encourage the clients to work collaboratively toward a solution. The mediators will not take sides or give advice. They will not tell you what to do or impose a decision on you.
Good Faith: In mediation you will be asked to participate in good faith. This will include listening to the other party, keeping and open mind about solutions and truly working toward a win-win solution. Clients will be asked to give serious consideration to proposals made during the mediation.
Common Courtesy: It is very important for clients to participate in mediation using basic rules of common courtesy. You will be asked to refrain from interrupting the other party, using inflammatory language, name calling and pushing the other parties hot buttons.
Process: The mediators will take you through a process designed to help you communicate with the other person and focus on problem solving. This process includes an introductory statement by the mediators, followed by uninterrupted statements by you and the other person. This statement should focus on what has brought you to the mediation and what you would like to see happen. The mediators will then help the two of you create a list of items to discuss during the mediation. You will be given an opportunity to negotiate with the other person while the mediators assist by facilitating the conversation. Finally the mediators will put into writing any agreements the two of you reach.
Preparation: It's important for mediation clients to be prepared. Please remember to bring any paperwork you will need to help make an informed decision. It can also be helpful to complete a Mediation Preparation Worksheet.
Legal Advice: Neither DRC staff nor the mediators in a case will provide legal advice. If you need the assistance of an attorney prior to your mediation, you are encouraged to seek any outside information you will need to help you negotiate.
Before contacting us about mediation, please review our Scheduling/FAQ document.
Benefits to mediation
- Win/Win solutions
- Create your own solutions
- Rebuild relationships
- Private and confidential
- Much faster than court system
- Less costly than litigation
- High settlement rate