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What is mediation?
- What is important to you
- How you are affected by your shared situation
- You can ask questions
- Listen to what each other has to say
- Make informed decisions
In what situations can mediation be used?
You can mediate at school or at work; in your neighborhood or family; in your synagogue, church or mosque; or in a court case. You can mediate in civil cases; for example after an accident, or when a repair isn’t done right, or when a debt hasn’t been paid.
Mediation is simply an opportunity to sit down and talk things out with a mediator, someone who is trained to help people have potentially difficult conversations. Someone who is impartial, won’t take sides, and will keep what you said confidential.
Check the Dealing with Conflict section of this website for tips on dealing with conflict directly.
When might mediation not be appropriate?
What are the benefits?
- Mediator is neutral – doesn’t take sides
- There is no final agreement unless you both agree
- Mediation is private and confidential
- 70% of the people who mediate reach an agreement
- Saves time and money
How does mediation work?
- The mediator helps you talk and reach your own agreements, if that’s what you want.
- You can talk about anything you both want to talk about. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to talk about.
- You do not have to stay for any amount of time.
- You do not have to reach agreement.
- If you reach agreement, you will sign it later and it can be filed with the court and adopted by a judge as the court’s decision.
Can I choose my Mediator?
- Choose from the Roster of Mediators. It is important to speak with several mediators before making a decision.
- Select a Mediator acceptable to both parties.
- In divorce and custody cases, if you can’t agree on a mediator, the Court has assigned a default mediator (on page 3 of your order).
What if we don’t reach an agreement?
Even if you don’t reach an agreement, most people feel clearer on what to do next and feel better able to move on.
Mediation in child welfare cases
Who is involved? Any of the following people can be involved: the parent(s), other family members, the foster parents, the DHS caseworker, attorneys for the parent(s) and child, other caseworkers with the parent(s) or child, perhaps therapist, minister/rabbi/imam, and friends or neighbors.
For more information, call Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa at 319-248-1940.
Mediation in civil cases
However, maybe you have something you want to say to the other person. Maybe you have some questions for him or her. Maybe you would like to try and talk with them directly.
If you do want to talk with the other person/people in mediation, find a mediator who knows how to help people talk directly to each other.
Get an attorney who is supportive of this choice and who has been involved in this kind of mediation before.
When you are choosing an attorney or your mediator, be sure to ask them what kind of mediation they usually recommend so you know whether they will be able to provide you with the kind of process you want.
See Selecting a Mediator or call Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa at (319) 248-1940.
Mediation in neighborhoods and families
With a mediator, you can sit down, be heard, ask questions, and hear their perspective. You can tell them how the situation is affecting you and your family. You can see what you can do to resolve the difficulties and reduce the tension.
You may think, “If we were going to be able to talk it out, we would have done that already. Communication is worse than ever. Things seem to be getting worse. How will talking make any difference?”
Even if you think that, you may be surprised at what can happen in mediation.
For help finding a mediator, call Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa at 319 248-1940.
Mediation in schools
Many schools have peer mediation programs, where students learn how to mediate the problems that arise between the students. Often the teachers and staff have gotten some mediation training, too.
Check the Dealing with Conflict section of this web site for tips on dealing with conflict directly.
If you want to bring a neutral mediator to your school, call Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa at 319-248-1940 for a referral.
Mediation at work
See Dealing with Conflict for tips on how to handle your situation.
Call Mediation Services of Eastern Iowa if you are interested in finding a mediator to help you talk it out.
Or ask your supervisor or manager about your office sponsoring a training on communication and conflict resolution skills for all your co-workers.
You’ve got options.