FAQ

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When should I consider mediation?

  • Parenting time disagreements after a divorce
  • Property divisions when a marriage ends
  • Sibling disagreements after a parent’s death                                                                  
  • Concerns over guardianship
  • Issues involved in special education
  • Victim-Offender restitution
  • Business and employment disputes
  • Small claims and civil claims
  • To get paid for completed work
  • Dispute over the quality of workmanship
  • Landlord-Tenant issues
  • Noisy neighbor complaint
  • Fence or boundary line conflict

What should I expect during the mediation process?

Before mediation:

When you contact our office, we will ask some questions about your problem and confirm that mediation is an appropriate next step.  We are also happy to answer any questions that you may have about the mediation process.  

When we open a mediation case, we will start by asking for contact information for everyone involved: names, addresses and phone numbers. Then, it’s our job to contact and invite all of the people in dispute to mediate. 

We will schedule the mediation at a convenient time and place.

And finally, we will provide a neutral, professionally trained mediator to lead the session.

 

During mediation:

The mediator will control the discussion, keep people from interrupting one another, and make sure the process stays fair and focused on the issues. Mediators are neutral.  They will help the parties explore options and record agreements if the parties resolve their dispute.

People enter into agreements voluntarily. No one is required to agree.  A fair solution is up to the disputing parties:  You decide what’s fair for you. You are in charge of the solution, rather than having a judge determine what the outcome of your dispute should be.

 

After mediation:

You will receive a written copy of the signed agreement, if one is reached.

If the matter is a court case, the court will be notified that the case settled in mediation, so parties can take the steps to end legal proceedings.

 

How much does mediation cost?

Our fees vary, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Fees are based on the type of mediation and the length of the mediation.  Contact us at (616) 399-1600 to discuss your specific situation.

 

What if I’m hesitant to talk or embarrassed?

We realize conflict can be difficult for many people. As long as there is no likelihood of physical harm, mediation can work even when angry words have been exchanged.

Mediation may involve attorneys to provide legal counsel and guidance.  With prior notice and consent of the other side, parties may bring a support person during the mediation.

What happens in mediation is confidential, and a signed agreement is the only record of the mediation. Our mediators are trained to respect both the confidentiality of the mediation process and the privacy of the mediating parties.