The mediation process at Seattle Law and Mediation, P.S., is different in many respects compared to other Seattle area and Washington based mediators.This is evident particularly in the context of pending court litigation. We view mediation as a process rather than an event.
We will also work with the parties and their attorneys in designing a mediation course for self determination in complex and high-conflict cases, providing for input from financial, mental health providers or other professionals and a voice for the children.
Allow us to explain how we do things by reading the information below. Our mediation process offers the parties innovative, imaginative, and thoughtful options in the resolution of their conflict. We use the most up-to-date methods and innovations in conflict resolution.
When and how does the mediation process begin?
The mediation process begins once all parties have agreed to retain our services. We are happy to meet with the parties at no charge to discuss the mediation process and our services.
While some mediation processes are specifically designed for special circumstances or to give voice to the children in the process. Most mediations share a similar process. All mediations facilitate self-determination by the parties.
Prior to the mediation session with the the parties and the mediator, we request information about the involved parties and their conflict, usually meeting with them in separate sessions.
After this initial phase, we will commence the joint mediated session with all involved parties, and their attorneys if participating in the mediation sessions.
The mediation process is structured to meet the specific needs and unique circumstances of the parties.
How long will the sessions be?
Each mediation process is structured to the specific circumstances of the parties. The process and protocols of the mediation may vary based on the parties, their needs and preferences. Most mediation cases follow similar protocols.
Generally, each mediation session with the parties is approximately three hours long.
The meetings are usually joint meetings between the parties and the mediator.Separate caucuses, or meetings, are usually held by each of the parties with the mediator during the sessions. In some cases, the mediation may be conducted entirely by separate caucuses, called shuttle mediation.
Other persons, in addition to the parties, may be included in a mediation session, such as attorneys or other people the parties may need to participate. Those persons might include professionals in financial, parenting, or other matters the parties may deem important. In some cases, the minor children are involved in the process in an appropriate manner.
Typically, three to four sessions are required for the parties to reach an agreement depending on the issues and conflict.
How are parenting cases treated?
Mediation is child focused for parenting issues.In some cases, the children may be included in the process in an appropriate manner for the situation and circumstances.
The involvement or voice of the child in a mediation may be structured at different levels, depending on the parents, and may also be conducted with the assistance of a mental health professional. Co-mediation (mediation with two mediators) may be used in certain cases, and is usually determined during the initial phase.
Our focus is on self-determination and joint decisions, with the best interests of the minor children in mind.
We also offer a neutral evaluation process, usually conducted in multiple sessions of limited duration.
Why choose mediation over litigation?
Mediation is a viable alternative to resolving family conflict through court litigation. It has gained popularity due to its affordability, confidentiality and efficiency.
It is essentially a no-lose option, as the outcome is solely decided by the involved parties and can save you thousands of dollars and significant time to a case resolution.
Our experience and education in mediation permits us to offer the most innovative and comprehensive processes in conflict resolution