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FAQ’s

MEDIATION
How long does mediation take?
While mediation time frames vary greatly depending on the circumstances, two to four hours is a common session length.

What if I become emotional during the mediation?
Emotions may come up. The mediation process provides a safe space for this while assisting you in expressing yourself in a way that the other will be able to hear. And, anyone can ask for a break or to end mediation at any time.

Can I afford mediation?
We offer a sliding fee schedule for families and communities. Feel free to take advantage of a 30 minute free consultation to learn more.

Whose side is the mediator on?
The mediator does not choose sides…or maybe more accurately, the mediator is on everyone’s side. The mediator’s priority is to conduct the mediation in a manner that gives everyone the opportunity to speak and be heard and maximizes the possibility of solutions everyone feels comfortable with.

Will I be expected to compromise and give up things that really matter to me, just to “make peace”?
In the way that I mediate, I consider it crucial that no one is pressured or coerced to give up anything they are not ready to let go of. Agreements based on full choice, self-determination and collaboration are agreements that last.

How is a mediator different from a lawyer?
A mediator is employed by both parties and serves the process rather than any individual. The mediator is focused on collaboration between the parties. A lawyer is employed by one party to advocate for them specifically and will necessarily be focused on protecting their client’s interest.

Can we put our agreements in writing?
Mediations often result in written agreements. Whether or not you choose to put something in writing will be up to you. Of course if your mediation is part of a divorce or family matter proceeding, the court will require agreements in writing.

If we have written agreements, will they be legally binding?
To assure that your agreements are legally binding you will need to bring them to your attorney. In the case of divorce or family matters, the agreements will become legally binding once you’ve seen the judge.

If we reach full agreement on our divorce or parental rights matter, will we still need a hearing?
If you have reached FULL agreement you will only need to go before the judge for a very brief uncontested hearing to finalize things.

Can we have mediation if there is a Protection from Abuse order in place?
We cannot meet in person, in this case, however we may be able to conduct mediation by telephone if your order allows this.

FACILITATION
How long does a facilitated meeting take?
At least one three-hour session is typical and productive…and it’s not uncommon to do as many as three or four such sessions in total depending on circumstances.

What are the minimum and maximum numbers of people you can work with in a group?
There is no minimum group size. As group size increases, the processes I use change accordingly. Groups up to 30 people or so are workable using various processes including the Dynamic Facilitation model (created by Jim & Jean Rough). Larger groups are facilitated by working with subgroups in particular ways including processes such as the World Café model.

Can facilitation be successful when there are extremely strong conflicts between certain individuals in the group?
In this case it is helpful to engage these individuals in mediation first, in preparation for successful group process.

Can facilitation be successful when there are some very strong personalities with firmly held views, or where certain individuals seem to always do all the talking?
Yes, absolutely! In fact that’s when facilitation can be the most helpful!

Can facilitation work when the people with all the structural power are not participating in the meeting?
You can make great progress in understanding each other, working collaboratively & smoothing out the kinks in your communication regardless of whether the “boss” is present. The only downside is that if you come up with action plans there is no guarantee your plans will be fully approved or supported. So, it’s always best if those with structural power participate fully.