FAQs

QWHAT IS MEDIATION?
A.
  • Over the course of a typical 2 hour mediation, mediators lead disputing parties through a discussion and help them develop their own agreement.  Everyone gets heard without interruption, in a safe comfortable setting.  Although most mediations end in agreement, the option of litigation is still open to disputing parties if they are not satisfied with the results.  The Dispute Resolution Center has helped thousands of people achieve satisfactory results and avoid costly litigation through mediation.
QWHY USE MEDIATION?
A.
  • Mediation allows you to design your own agreements instead of a judge or arbitrator deciding for you.Mediation is confidential, not part of the public record - unlike court proceedings
  • Resolve present issues and work out how to deal similar problems in the future if they arise.
  • Mediation improves relationships by allowing disputing parties to find solutions without the intervention of a judge.
  • Timely: Mediation usually takes less time than litigation
  • Cost effective: Mediation is generally less expensive than litigation
QWHY USE THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER (DRC)?
A.
  • Easy and Convenient: The DRC sets up the appointment, contacts the disputing parties, and provides a neutral location and a highly trained mediator team.
  • Affordable: The DRC offers low-cost mediation services guaranteed to fit every budget.
  • Professional: Volunteer mediators are trained under the standards of the State Court Administrative Office and a large percentage of DRC mediators participate in advanced mediator trainings.
  • Timely: Mediations are scheduled quickly and do not delay or preclude the court process if parties do not reach an agreement.
QDOES IT WORK?
A.
  • It does work.  Research shows that 86% of all agreements made during a mediation session are upheld by the parties.  The mediation process empowers people struggling with conflict to be an active part of the solution and in writing their own agreement.  That is not the case in court.
QHOW LONG DOES A MEDIATION LAST?
A.
  • On average our mediations last for about two hours.  Some mediations may last longer depending on the case type, Divorce/Separation or Probate
    usually require 2-3 1/2 day sessions.
QHOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A.
  • Mediation at the DRC is affordable for all members of the community.
    Please contact us for our rates.
QHOW SOON CAN WE SCHEDULE A MEDIATION?
A.
  • We schedule mediations on a first come first serve basis.  Usually within 2 weeks. Contact us to start the process today.
QWHO ARE THE MEDIATORS?
A.
  • Mediators for the DRC are highly trained, neutral 3rd party professionals from all walks of life: teachers, attorneys social workers, community members, etc.  They have a passion to help people resolve disputes in a peaceful and productive way.
QWHAT IF I KNOW ONE OF THE MEDIATORS?
A.
  • Mediation can be held only if all parties to the dispute as well as the mediator agree that the mediator will be impartial and the mediation can proceed. Otherwise the DRC will reschedule the mediation with another mediator. 
QWHO COMES TO THE MEDIATION?
A.
  • Everyone involved in the dispute who has the knowledge, ability and authority to make decisions and come to an agreement must be present
QWHAT IF SOMEONE REFUSES TO MEDIATE?
A.
  • Mediation is voluntary and only disputing parties willing to try mediation will find the process effective. All parties must agree to the mediation and will be asked to sign an agreement to mediate. If the mediation is court ordered, all parties must attend and stay until the end of the first session.
QMAY I BRING A FRIEND? FAMILY? ADVISORS?
A.
  • Mediation is an opportunity for parties to settle their own disputes. Professional advisors such as financial consultants or lawyers are welcome or can be available during the mediation by phone. Only those people necessary to ensure an agreement may be present in the mediation room, unless everyone agrees to an additional person’s presence. Friends, family, and other support people may be available in a waiting room or by phone at any time. 
QSHOULD I BRING MY LAWYER?
A.
  • Attorneys may be present during a mediation or available by phone. Attorneys may also be consulted at the end of a mediation and before an agreement is signed. In a divorce mediation all agreements must be reviewed by an attorney before being signed.
QIS THE MEDIATOR’S DECISION FINAL?
A.
  • Mediators don’t make decisions. Mediators are facilitators who help you make your own decisions and agreements. They do not voice their own opinions, suggestions or offer solutions.
QWILL THERE BE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT?
A.
  • Yes. The goal of mediation is to enable people to reach mutually acceptable solutions, put details in writing, and have all parties to the dispute sign the agreement.
QARE THESE AGREEMENTS BINDING?
A.
  • Signed mediation agreements are similar to written contracts, in most cases, and have usually been upheld by the courts in Michigan. Divorce agreements must be submitted to the court before they are considered binding.
QDO I STILL HAVE TO GO TO COURT?
A.
  • It depends on the type of case.
QWHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T MEDIATE OR DON’T REACH AN AGREEMENT?
A.
  • All other forms of dispute resolution, including litigation, still remain available to the disputing parties. All notes from the mediation will be torn up and it will be as though no mediation ever happened.