Mediation is a process that involves a neutral third party, called a mediator, helping you and the other person in a dispute come to a mutually acceptable solution. It is a cost effective, quicker alternative to trial, and you and the other person will be more likely to stick to whatever agreement you make in mediation than if you went to court and had a judge or jury decide for you.
There are many types of disputes that can be settled through mediation, including divorce, child custody and parenting, estate planning, and landlord/tenant issues. Mediation can also help with problems like domestic violence, elder care, or sibling conflict.
Many counties have a mediation program or dispute resolution center (DRC) that offers free or low cost mediation services. You can find out more about these programs by visiting the website of your county court or calling your local civil court to ask for a list of mediators and their rates. You can also look up statewide lists of mediators online, or talk to your lawyer about mediation options.
Divorce mediation is one of the most common uses for mediation, although it can be used in other cases as well. The goal of divorce mediation is to reduce hostility and competition between spouses so that they can focus on the best interests of their children. Mediation is often done in conjunction with a collaborative divorce or trial separation, and it can help spouses understand their own needs and interests in the divorce.
Family disputes can arise during any time of life, and they can be difficult to resolve without the help of a mediator. The goal of family mediation is to bring the parties together to find solutions that are in their best interests and will work long term. This process can help parents reach custody agreements that are in the best interest of their children, resolve property division problems and establish visitation schedules for grandparents and extended family members.
The passing of a loved one can create emotional rifts among relatives, and mediation is a good option to consider when trying to resolve family disagreements. The benefits of elder mediation include avoiding conflict, healing rifts, and preserving relationships. Elder mediation is often used in will and estate disputes, guardianship cases, and disputes about the care of elderly parents.
A court may refer you to a mediator or you can hire a mediator privately. If you are going to trial, your lawyer might recommend mediation or the judge may order it. If you are representing yourself in a civil case, your local courts might offer mediation services before you file a lawsuit, and there are also Community Dispute Resolution centers throughout New York City that can help you with a variety of different problems. Many of these centers have a sliding fee scale and you can ask your attorney about referring you to one. You can also ask a friend or trusted colleague to suggest a mediator, or look up your state’s statewide mediator directory online. mediation services near me