Mediation may be offered or ordered through the court system. In these instances, mediation allows all parties involved to explain their view of the situation in a non-threatening, neutral environment and seek resolution. Examples of cases that might use mediation are:
Small Claims Mediation
An informal process where a highly trained and skilled neutral third party meets with the parties to a small claims suit, with the hopes of helping the parties resolve the claim before going in front of the Magistrate and providing open testimony. The mediator is assigned when both parties to the suit appear and are checked in by the court. The mediator will then use a facilitative process with the hope of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome created by the parties, and then submitted to the court as a substitute for a judgment.
The use of a highly skilled neutral third party trained in divorce and other family law matters to help the parties reach resolutions to the complex questions that arise. The mediator will work with the parties to create and prioritize an agenda with the hopes of finding a consensus on solving those issues. The process is intended to help create an amicable dissolution to the marriage and minimize time, cost and pain. Typically the issues dealt with include: Distribution of Property; Child custody/parenting time; Child support/maintenance; Retirement; and Taxes.
An advanced mediation process where the courts and mediator work with other stakeholders named in the petition to facilitate a long term action plan for the incapacitated individual. The mediator will facilitate the formation, directives and roles necessary to create a durable Guardianship or Conservatorship for the Incapacitated individual, used for both minors and adults. Elder Mediation is a subset of Guardianship, but is hopefully used prior to Guardianship. Elder issues can include family discussions for probate and estate planning, Elder Abuse issues, Housing, and long term care decisions between family members.
Child Protection Mediation
An advanced mediation process where the courts and mediator work with the various stakeholders within an abuse and neglect case. The mediator facilitates the planning session with Prosecutors office, DHHS, Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem, parents, Parents attorneys, Foster care, and potential foster parents/family placements. These facilitated meetings can create plea agreements for the accused, can terminate parental rights, can create long-term stable placements for children, can create family service plans that can lead to reunification or action plans that lead toward adoption.