The Mediation Process: Steps, Benefits, And More
Unlike other formal legal proceedings, the mediation process is much more casual and relaxed. For those who are just beginning to undergo mediation for a personal, we’re going to give you the scoop on the series of steps involved in the process. In the following sections, we’re going to be diving into the methodology and how it is beneficial to your legal matter. Whether you are dealing with a family-related or business-related dispute, you can expect to reach your goal by the end of the procedure. Down below, here is the mediation process from start to finish.
The first step of the mediation process is to find the right mediator to assist with your case. This can be done by referrals or doing your own research. After choosing a service, your mediator will assist the parties to pick a location they should hold the first and ongoing meetings. On either party side, typically this includes colleagues, family members, and lawyers in the team, based on the legal matter. After you decide on who is on your team, you are ready for the introductory meeting. It is important to be prepared and ask your mediator a lot of questions so you know what to expect going into the process.
2. Initial Meeting
At the first meeting, the disputing parties both sit in the same meeting room. The mediator explains the process, giving the parties the scoop on how it works, what the rules are, and what to expect. The mediator will also provide their end goal of the mediation which will be to ensure both parties find common ground and reach a settlement. This is to ensure they can be in agreement and prevent them from having to go to court to further settle this issue.
3. Opening Statements
After the introduction, both sides are provided with the choice to showcase their perspective of the argument. They are given the floor, allowing them to discuss with minimal interference. While they are speaking, this time can be used to open up their feelings and thoughts about the situation. For instance, if this were a family-related issue such as a child custody case either party being the ex-spouses would be providing their own view on the parenting arrangement. Giving them the time to air out their feelings can allow the mediator to decide how they can help both parties find an agreement.
4. Shared Discussion
Following the opening statements from both parties, the mediator and the disputing parties interrogate each other. This is to help get an in-depth grasp on the issues and requirements laid out by both parties, to help the mediator reach his or her end goal.
In disputes where there are communication troubles, especially when it comes to listening, mediators will behave like t messenger. This is to make sure both parties can get a clear understanding of what their argument is. Through this step, the mediator tries to gauge why both parties have different perspectives on the matter. It is the job of the mediator to find a way to create a safe and comfortable discussion to ensure both parties find a way to easily resolve the dispute.
5. Shared Discussion
When there are issues arising between both parties, the mediator typically separates both sides into different rooms for their own meeting otherwise known as caucuses. Typically, the disputants can guarantee their most private information is kept confidential. This can assure that both parties feel at ease to provide details about any recent issues or thoughts they have from the discussion.
The final stage in the process is negotiation. The mediators during this step, aim to find a way to bring common ground to both parties by going back and forth to offer proposals and provide new ideas on the case. Both parties need to get advice from a mediator to assure that you have the best strategy to ultimately better your final outcome for the matter.
If after all these steps they still don’t find a settlement, you can take the matter out further in court.
The mediation process involves a variety of different steps to get both parties to reach their end goal. From the initial meeting to the closing statements, you can be sure that the process is designed for you to see eye to eye. If you’re looking to hire a mediator, feel free to speak to our team today to begin!