Mediation is a process, a way of resolving disputes or disagreements between people. A mediator is a suitably qualified facilitator who has trained to assist parties come together and resolve their dispute with each other , rather than seeking an outside authority, such a judge or a magistrate, to make a determination or a decision for them.
The process is voluntary, confidential and without prejudice. The process is flexible and may be entered into at any time during a dispute – before, during or even after litigation. Any time parties have a dispute, they can elect to try mediation as a way of resolving their dispute.
Mediation is a facilitative process; which means the object of mediation is for the parties to try reach their best outcome that works for both of them. This is in contrast to seeking a judge or a magistrate to make a ruling. A court is not interested in the what is best for the parties but rather, simply, what is fact and what is law.
In mediation, it is the parties who will be working towards creating a resolution that is practical and that best suits the parties. The mediator facilitates this process. A mediator does not give advice, is not a counselor or a therapist. The mediator’s objective is to facilitate the parties themselves reaching their most constructive and fair agreement.
Mediation can be entered into at any time, even if attorneys have been instructed. All that is required is a sincere commitment by the parties to sit around a table and try to work out the best solution for their issues.