TOM QUINN MEDIATOR: Family Court, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Custody, Personal Injury, Criminal and Civil Defense Mediation Services - resolving disputes, Greenville, SC

FAQ'S

What is Mediation?
What is the role of the mediator?
When should mediation be used?
Why use mediation if it is not mandatory?
What if we cannot agree how to resolve our differences?
What role do attorneys take in mediation?
How long does mediation take?
How much does mediation cost?
Where will the mediation be held?
Is mediation confidential?
What is required of the parties?
Can our children be involved?
What is mediation not?

What is Mediation?
Mediation is where you decide whether and how to resolve your dispute. Any agreement will belong to you.

Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties directly discuss the issues causing conflict between them. A neutral mediator helps them solve these problems by assisting in the creation of solutions. Openness and fairness guide the parties through the negotiation process. The process relies upon the ability of the parties to reach a voluntary, un-coerced agreement. The mediator may suggest settlement options to better suit the interests and needs of the parties and will document any understandings that are reached.

Too often people feel like spectators in their own case while lawyers, judges and others decide their future. Mediation recognizes that all parties have legitimate needs and helps develop alternatives to meet those needs.

Unlike a judge a mediator does not impose a decision upon the parties. Mediation allows the parties to control the outcome. The involved parties are in control of their own life shaping decisions.

The mediation process itself has benefits to the parties whatever the outcome. Each party will have the opportunity to express ideas, concerns and perspectives and have the right to be heard by the other side.

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What is the role of the mediator?
The mediator is a neutral party who facilitates discussion of the issues between the parties. He attempts to assist the parties in reaching an informed settlement by providing information about the process, raising issues and helping the parties explore options. The mediator will focus on the future, be impartial and even-handed and encourage mutual respect among the parties.

Unlike a judge or jury the mediator does not impose a decision upon the parties. In mediation the parties themselves decide whether and how to settle the dispute.

The primary purpose of the mediator is to facilitate the parties voluntary agreement. All decisions are made by the parties themselves.

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When should mediation be used?
Mediation is appropriate for almost every situation where there is conflict.

In Family Court, custody, visitation, child-raising issues, alimony, division of assets and allocation of debt are all appropriate issues for mediation.

In the civil field, employment and work place problems, personal injury, consumer complaints and estate disputes would be appropriate issues for mediation.

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Why use mediation if it is not mandatory?
Mediation provides an opportunity for the people involved in the dispute to control how the issues will be resolved. A judge or jury hears testimony under rules not applicable to mediation which limit how and the manner by which the testimony is proffered. In mediation you make speak freely and craft your own result. When persons decide there own fate, instead of leaving it to the whim of the judge or jury, they are often more satisfied with the result.

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What if we cannot agree how to resolve our differences?
Parties who participate in mediation lose none of their rights to a trial. If your mediation does not result in a settlement you have every right to pursue legal remedies.

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What role do attorneys take in mediation?
The mediator encourages each party to consult with an attorney and, at a minimum, to have the attorney review any agreement reached by the parties for approval by the Court. The attorney’s role is determined by the attorney and client depending on the services needed and requested.

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How long does mediation take?
Mediation takes considerably less time than litigation.

Normally when mediation is used the length of time needed is measured in hours, not days, weeks or months. The length of any mediation varies according to the parties, the number and difficulty of the issues and the interest of the parties in reaching a resolution.

The first session of mediation will be within 30 days of the appointment of the mediator.

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How much does mediation cost?
Mediators charge hourly fees for preparation time, time in mediation, the drawing of an agreement and the report to the court, if required. These costs are generally equally shared by the parties. Payment is made at the time of mediation.

Negotiation in mediation is usually less expensive then litigation or even negotiations through attorneys as the parties speak directly to each other rather than through their attorneys.

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Where will the mediation be held?
The mediation may be held anywhere the parties may choose, although, generally I prefer to use my office.

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Is mediation confidential?
Yes. The parties sign an agreement to mediate, which provides for the confidentiality of the process and protection from subpoena or other involvement in the litigation for the mediator.
Communications during mediation settlement conferences are all confidential. Parties may not rely on, or introduce as evidence in any proceedings any communication having occurred during mediation. Only threats of harm or information concerning child abuse are not confidential.

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What is required of the parties?
Each party to the mediation is required to complete an intake form which provides basic information to the mediator, to complete a mediation agreement providing for confidentiality and setting forth the rules of mediation, to provide any financial information that may be necessary to complete the mediation and to honestly and openly consider the issues with the intention of reaching an agreement.

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Can our children be involved?
The mediator assumes children have a right to love and respect both parents and a right to have both parents participate in his or her life as fully as responsible. Children of sufficient age may participate in mediation sessions related to their issues with consent of both parties and the mediator.

What is mediation not?
It is not therapy. While you may find the process therapeutic, the goal of mediation is to foster agreement, not to promote insight or personality change.

It is not a legal process. The mediator does not give legal advice or advocate a position. While the mediator may provide knowledge and understanding of the law which may be used to facilitate the process, both parties are encouraged to have all agreements reviewed by their own attorney.

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