Blessed Are The Peacemakers

Mediation is one of the most popular methods to settle disputes. It is different than arbitration, which actually renders a decision. Most state courts require parties to attend mediation prior to a trial being set in a case. This is because 95% of cases settle before trial.

Parents Having Argument At Home In Front Of Children

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the most popular alternative to lengthy court battles. It saves money, time and most importantly, the energy and emotion spent on battling over conflict. The parties make arrangements to meet with a mediator at a minimum of two hours. Additional sessions may be needed. A mediator’s obligation is to provide unbiased, neutral and independent assistance to the parties. The mediator must have active listening skills and know the techniques in dealing with high emotional conflict.

There are generally no state requirements for mediators, however, all states have basic qualifications for mediators. On its own motion, or on motion of either or both parties to a dispute, the court may order a matter referred to mediation. Most people utilize mediators before court involvement.

The mediator acts as a guide and the parties participate in their own settlement alternatives.
Any communication in mediation cannot be used as evidence in any proceeding and a court appointed mediator may not be a witness. Her notes are not subject to discovery. SDCL§ 25-4-60.
A mediator has no stake in the outcome and may not make a recommendation to the court concerning the matter. SDCL § 25-4-62.
Parties are more satisfied with the outcome because they are more in control of the outcome.
In family mediation the best interest of the child is promoted. The economic and emotional costs associated with divorce and custody are reduced.

What Can Be Mediated? Well, Anything!

Divorce, custody issues, personal property issues, unwed parent issues, relocation, paternity, adult guardianships and family issues pertaining to elder care, wills, inheritance, post-divorce issues involving children and relocation of a party, co-parenting, step-parenting, teenage discipline issues, elder marriage separations, child guardianships, business disputes and dissolution, injury claims, wrongful termination or any issue of human dynamic.

Black Hills Mediation and Law of Rapid City, South Dakota has a significant amount of trial and mediation experience.