Carolina Family Arbitration and Mediation Services
Mediation is a settlement process where the parties voluntarily resolve their differences and disagreements with the help of a neutral mediator.
The mediator’s most important responsibility is to remain neutral throughout the process and to encourage and facilitate a fair settlement of the dispute. The participants in mediation include the parties, their attorneys (if they are represented by counsel) and the mediator.
A skilled mediator will actively listen to the parties’ concerns, identify and focus on the parties’ respective needs and interests, diffuse hostilities, and consider alternative and creative opportunities for the parties to reach an agreement. Parties sometimes elect to resolve their differences through mediation before litigation is commenced in order to avoid the expense of legal proceedings. In other cases mediation is ordered or agreed to during the course of a court proceeding, and as a last attempt to avoid a trial.
When mediation is conducted pursuant to a court order, or if it is conducted in accordance with a contract which so provides, the process is confidential. The costs typically include the mediator’s fee and an administrative fee.