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Home » Services » Mediation

Why Mediation?

The Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County offers mediation as a valuable alternative to litigation. If your wish is to avoid the court system, improve communication, or preserve or restore relationships, mediation is designed to do just that.

Mediation Can Be a Great Tool for Addressing

  • Divorce cases
  • Modifying Parent Plans
  • Small Claims
  • Family disputes, including Parent-Youth conflicts
  • Neighborhood conflicts
  • Commercial disputes
  • Landlord and tenant disputes
  • Workplace conflicts

How Do I Prepare for Mediation?

Typically, the following are required for a successful mediation:

  • All parties recognize that there is a conflict
  • All parties agree to mediate
  • All parties necessary to make an agreement are able to attend the mediation
  • Parties agree to follow rules of common courtesy
  • Each party must be capable of making a decision and following through with an agreement
  • All parties are able to understand and prioritize what they need and want
  • Parties come prepared to share all relevant concerns and to listen to the other parties’ concerns
  • All parties are willing to understand the interests of the other party, and come prepared to satisfy the needs of the other party as well as their own

Intake staff will help you determine what paperwork, if any, would be helpful for you to bring to the mediation.

How Do I Start the Process?

Email or call 360-698-0968 to contact an Intake specialist.

During the initial intake process, DRC staff help you determine if mediation is appropriate for resolving your dispute.

With your permission, the DRC will then contact the other party to determine their willingness to participate in mediation and to initiate the intake process with them as appropriate.

Intake staff will help you determine what paperwork, if any, would be helpful for you to bring to the mediation.

If all parties agree to participate, Intake will move forward with scheduling a mediation.

What Can I Expect?

Mediation is a private and confidential process facilitated by neutral, third parties (mediators) whose role is to assist parties in having a productive conversation that addresses each other’s needs.

Mediations typically last 2-3 hours. Depending on the complexity of the case, more than one session may be required. All mediation sessions are charged on a sliding scale.

In mediation, clients control the outcome of the mediation session. Mediators do not provide legal advice, counseling services or tell people how to resolve their conflict in mediation services. Settlements made in a mediation setting are agreements that are satisfactory to all parties. No one should sign an agreement that is not satisfactory to them.

Mediation fees are on a sliding scale and will be determined during the intake process. Additional sessions will be charged accordingly. 

Questions? Our staff will be happy to talk with you. Email us or call 360-698-0968. If you leave a message, the Intake staff will get back to you within 3 business days.

Common Steps in the Mediation Process:

  1. Mediators’ Opening Statement. Mediators review the process, guidelines, and each participant’s roles.
  2. Client Opening Statements. This is an opportunity for each party to briefly share what brought them to mediation and what they would like to see happen.
  3. Clarifying Interests. The mediators may ask clarifying questions to help surface underlying interests in the conflict.
  4. Agenda: The parties develop a list of topics they mutually agree to talk about.
  5. Exploration/Negotiations: Parties work with one another to develop solutions to the topics on the agenda.  
  6. (Optional) Caucus: Mediators may hold private, confidential meetings separately with each party. Both parties and mediators may request a caucus during the mediation.
  7. Settlement: A settlement agreement may be written to memorialize the decisions made in mediation. The mediators will draft an agreement in your words. Written agreements may be signed by all parties, and may be filed with the court as legally binding contracts. It is advisable to have attorneys review such agreements.

Other Mediation Services

Don’t see your conflict?

Call our Intake Staff at 360-698-0968 and find out if mediation can help in your situation.

Also, see our Who We Help page and our Services page to find out more!

Facing Foreclosure?

Through the Foreclosure Fairness Act, homeowners may seek resolution with their lenders through mediation. A housing counselor or attorney must initiate this process.

Counselors are provided free of charge to Washington homeowners and can be reached at 1-877-894-HOME (4663).

Additional Resources

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