What is MEDIATION?
You can think of mediation as a voluntary, confidential discussion where impartial mediators help people to hear and understand each other so that they can create mutually workable solutions to their dispute.
Mediators help people by removing obstacles to communication so that people in conflict can really hear each other’s needs and concerns in an atmosphere of respect.
When Should I Use Mediation?
When the dispute is between people who need their relationship to continue, mediation is the most effective way to resolve disputes. This is true for many kinds of people in conflict:
- Divorcing couples who need to co-parent children after the divorce
- Extended families who have disagreements about the care of an elder
- Families and their teens
- Co-workers who wish to remain at the same workplace
- Groups and organizations, such as faith-based groups, volunteer firefighters, sporting groups
- Neighbors who don’t want to move
- Roommates who need to get along better
- Merchants who don’t want to lose customers
- People who feel others are harassing them
Mediators help people in conflict to:
- Define issues
- Communicate clearly, even in very emotionally charged disputes
- Explore potential solutions.
Mediators make no decisions and do not give advice. People are able to keep control of the outcome in mediation and craft solutions that perfectly fit their needs.
- Results Oriented
- Time Saving
- Cost effective
- Low stress
Mediation at RECOURSE
RECOURSE uses a model of mediation that is facilitative and interest-based.
That means that the mediators facilitate, or make easier, the communications between the two parties in conflict. The mediators are trained to listen for the interests of the parties. In this kind of interest-based mediation, the underlying needs, concerns, fears and desires of each person in the conflict are discussed and considered in how the matter might be resolved. Interest-based mediation addresses all the emotional aspects of the dispute and can widen the options for settlement and result in ‘win-win’ outcomes.
What Happens in Mediation?
An initial discussion with RECOURSE staff will determine whether mediation is appropriate. If it is, RECOURSE will contact the other party, explain the process and invite all parties to participate in mediation.
Co-mediators facilitate the communication between all participants in a safe, neutral environment. Everyone has the chance to be heard and participate in resolving the conflict.
RECOURSE mediators make no decisions or judgments, and the parties decide whether a verbal or a written agreement is appropriate.
RECOURSE allows up to three hours per session.
Benefits of RECOURSE Mediation
- Privacy – All discussions during the mediation are confidential
- You control the outcome – RECOURSE mediators will not impose a solution on the parties
- Inexpensive – Minimal cost compared to litigation or doing nothing
- Effective – You are the expert in your dispute and can develop agreements that work for your situation
- Clear, respectful communication – can preserve relationships and improve understanding
- Quicker resolution- Most people can resolve their dispute in one session
- Flexible scheduling – Evening, day or weekend appointments are available.
- Agreement options–Parties decide the type of agreement that suits them: verbal, written or legally enforceable written agreements.
- RECOURSE offers affordable mediations with sliding-scale rates available. Some court-related mediations are free.
Types of Mediation
RECOURSE mediators help people at court with mediation services on the day of trial in Small Claims, landlord-tenant evictions (Unlawful Detainer), civil harassment, guardianship and family law matters.
RECOURSE is especially committed to helping families resolve conflict. Mediations of this type include parent-teen, divorce, separation, child custody and visitation, co-parenting and elder care matters.
RECOURSE mediators are volunteers committed to the idea that, given support and a safe environment, people have the ability and the power to solve their own disputes peacefully.
All RECOURSE mediators receive extensive training and evaluation to ensure quality service to the community. RECOURSE mediators come from all walks of life, reflecting the diversity of our County.