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Using Mediation To Reach Positive Outcomes

Last updated on April 29, 2024

Mediation is an important tool within our legal system for resolving disputes. It saves people time, and money and helps preserve relationships. At Rebecca H. Fischer, P.A., I can represent you at all stages of mediation in a divorce, will contest, or another dispute. My name is Rebecca Fischer, and I believe firmly in the benefits of mediation.

What Does A Mediator Do?

Whether the mediation is a divorce, contract, foreclosure, or any other matter, the mediator’s role is the same. He or she must serve as an unbiased objective third party to assist the parties in resolving their disputes. In doing so, the mediator identifies and clarifies the issues, works to find creative solutions allowing each party to attain his or her goals, reach a compromise, and ensure that any agreement reached is reduced to writing. Despite whatever additional training a mediator has, the mediator may not serve in any other capacity to the clients.

To negotiate fairly and neutrally for both parties, a mediator must understand the parties’ needs, goals, and interests. A mediator must be curious and have good listening skills, patience, tolerance, flexibility, creativity, and persistence.  A good mediator must have the ability to handle conflict and be empathetic to the affected parties. The mediator may identify options the parties may not have considered. This creative component of a mediator’s role is the one most mediators enjoy. Warring parties often become so entrenched in their positions that they see the agreement as a sign of weakness. The mediator can often craft solutions that incorporate elements of compromise and gain for each party. Being able to “think out of the box” is, therefore, a critical skill for an effective mediator.

How Does Mediation Work?

Once the mediator assists the parties in narrowing the scope of their dispute, the mediator may meet privately with each of the parties to reduce the level of conflict in the room, This meeting, known as a caucus, is private and allows the mediator to assist the parties reach decisions as to how he or she wishes to proceed. Often, the mediator can voice the other party’s point of view in a less triggering manner than listening to the parties themselves.

If an agreement is reached and the parties are not represented by attorneys the mediator will work with the parties to reduce their agreements to a memorandum of understanding. When parties are represented by attorneys, the attorneys will write the agreement as negotiated by the parties with the assistance of the mediator. In family mediation, the agreements are called a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) and a Parenting Plan if there are children involved. Once signed, the MSA and Parenting Plan are presented to the judge at a final hearing for dissolution of marriage. At the time, the judge will incorporate the agreement into a final order that is enforceable by the court.

Discuss Whether Mediation Is Right For You

If you are interested in preventing litigation and resolving your conflict peacefully, contact Rebecca H. Fischer, P.A. To speak with me about an initial consultation, please call 954-546-7250 or send me an email.