Author Archives: Celine Zabel

Mediation with one reluctant party

You want to mediate, and you don’t think that the other party will agree to mediation.  What do you do?

This is not uncommon.  After all, you are considering mediation because communication has most likely broken down between the two of you.

Depending upon where you are in your attempt at conflict resolution, will determine what you do next.  For instance, are there attorney’s involved with your case?  If there are, then the mediator will want to speak with both attorneys to let them know that a he or she has been contacted for a possible mediation. The other party’s attorney may want to contact their client, or they may want the mediator to contact their client.  If the other party does not voluntarily consent to mediation your attorney could file a motion with the court requesting an order to mediate.*

If there are no attorney’s involved, then the mediator may be the right person to contact the other party in the dispute.   He or she will explain the mediation process.  The process is an attempt to let the parties come to their own resolution, wherein you could both “win”, versus using the legal system, where one party is most likely to “lose”.  The process should be less costly, less time consuming, and can result in an agreement which is binding, if the both of you so choose.

Will mediation guarantee an outcome?  No.  But what is there to lose?  If mediation does not result in an agreement, the parties can continue to litigate.  But with a positive outcome, no litigation will be necessary, and the parties may be able to maintain some semblance of a relationship.  After litigation, any possible relationship will most likely be destroyed.  Are there children involved where a relationship with the other parent is critical to your children’s mental health?  Or is it a neighbor or employee that you live next to or work with?

It takes willing participants to have mediation work.  Unfortunately sometimes it takes conflicting parties to have already spent lots of time and money in the legal system, before they either willingly or unwillingly enter into mediation.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Be pro-active.  Go to mediation first.  You have nothing to lose, and a lot to possibly gain.

Where do I find a mediator?  Up next….

 

*I am not an attorney.  I am not giving legal advice here, or anywhere in my writings.