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What are the different steps in mediation?

Steps in Mediation

  1. Commencement: Request for Mediation
  2. Choosing your Mediator.
  3. The Agreement to Mediate.

Initial Contacts Between the Mediator and the Parties

  1. Setting up the first meeting.
  2. Agreeing any preliminary exchange of documents.

First and Subsequent Meetings

  1. Agreeing the ground rules of the process.
  2. Gathering information and identifying issues.
  3. Exploring the interests of the parties.
  4. Developing options for settlement.
  5. Evaluating options.

Types of mediation

Divorce mediation: Mediation is actually a process that gets people closer to ending the marriage and finalizing the divorce. In mediation, before dissolution papers can be signed, both parties must agree to all the terms of the divorce. Mediation is a way for couples to discuss the issues and agree on terms without a judge resolving the disputes of the parties. It is a cost effective alternative to hiring attorneys to litigate on your behalf. In our divorce mediation sessions, both parties have the ability to productively sort out and address all issues in their divorce. This includes division of assets and liabilities as well as parenting plans, child support and spousal support. It can also include a temporary or transitional agreement to have in place during the process of mediating the final agreement. At the end of the sessions, upon reaching an agreement, that agreement can be a comprehensive divorce agreement that then simply needs to be transferred to the appropriate court documents to be filed with the court. Divorce mediation can be anywhere from 1 or more sessions depending on the parties and the time needed to address the issues needing to be resolved. Divorce mediation is a way for both parties to work out the details of their divorce without the expense of attorneys being involved. Divorce mediation works when both parties are willing to try and reach an agreement to avoid a judge making the decision for them. We provide you with a list of areas to be addressed in your divorce, you both have the power to determine the outcome. You both have the power to craft a contract for your futures. You both have the power to determine your children's future. When it comes to the courts making the decision for you, the standard is "in the best interest of the child." You as parents are capable of deciding what is in the best interest of your children and your new family unit.

The following issues can be resolved in divorce mediation.

  1. Separation of assets: Deciding on what will happen to the family home, who will get which car, how savings and investments will be fairly divided, and who should get property with sentimental value are all goals of mediation.
  2. Parenting plans: You and your spouse are the most qualified people to determine what is best for your children. When you can sit down with a mediator and decide where the children should live, what the visitation schedule should be, and who will be responsible for which parenting responsibilities, you can save a lot of time, money, and heartache.
  3. Spousal support: While there are state laws regarding spousal support, a mediator can work with you to decide what's fair and to creatively compensate a spouse if one spouse is adamantly opposed to paying spousal support.
  4. Child support: Washington State has extensive formulas and criteria for determining child support. Despite the significant law in this area, incomes and credits are often in dispute. Mediation is an excellent way to come to the settlement of these disputes.

Civil Mediation: This applies to any civil dispute that you would like to resolve, again without having a judge determine the outcome. Civil mediation covers small claims, neighbor disputes, and any other dispute you wish to resolve that does not fall into the other specified categories.

Landlord/Tenant mediation: This specifically applies to landlord/tenant situations that arise. Landlord/tenant mediation can be an alternative to an eviction and can also be a way of coming to an agreement in regard to renegotiating a lease or a potential move out date in lieu on an eviction.

Real estate mediation: This applies to issues that have arisen regarding real property. It can include but not be limited to property line issues, easement issues, boundary disputes. Again, a more cost-effective way to reach a mutual agreement outside of court.

Workplace mediation: Mediation to help you resolve issues or disputes with co-workers. Workplace disputes if left unresolved can cause work anxiety, depression and low productivity. Mediation can help you and your co-worker reach a mutual agreement on how to work together and move forward into a positive work environment. Mediation can help a company help their employees come to an agreement on how to work more effectively together.

Modification mediation: If you already have a parenting plan or child support order in place and need to modify it, mediation is a great way to create a new parenting plan or adjust the child support.

Other issues. Any other decisions that need to be made that may be unique to your situation-such as custody of pets, use of recreational equipment or vacation homes, etc., can be addressed during mediation as well.