Dealing with domestic disputes is often painful. Courts are often not in the best position to make decisions about family matters. Mediation eases the difficulty of the court process. It gives parties a chance to talk together about how to resolve the matters in a way that address both present and future needs in a manner that is acceptable to everyone involved. It can reduce stress and uncertainty.
Mediation in this program is an informal process where parties try to resolve a dispute without the hostility that is sometimes associated with going to court. In mediation, the parties meet in a private, confidential setting to work out a solution to their problem with the help of a neutral third person, the mediator. A mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. The mediator does not force the disputing parties to reach agreement or to accept particular settlement terms. The mediator helps each side to better understand their situation. The mediator fosters a problem solving atmosphere and lessens the temptation to engage in unproductive behavior; the mediator ensures that each of the parties to the dispute has an opportunity to be heard and understood; and the mediator encourages the parties to create a solution that meets their individual needs.
More information is available from the Family Mediation Certification Board.