Our Family

 

 

Mediation is a safe, neutral and voluntary process to resolve a variety of neighbor, workplace and family disagreements without going to court.

 

Mediations can be scheduled weekdays during the day and early evening hours and on Saturdays by appointment. Mediations are held at our office at 3830 E. Bellevue St. (near Speedway and Alvernon) or at off-site locations agreeable to all clients. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Frequently asked questions about mediation:

What is mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way for people to resolve their disagreements. During mediation, people meet at a safe and neutral place to discuss their options for effectively resolving their problem. Two professional mediators guide the process to help keep communication respectful. Mediators do not provide legal advice. If clients have legal questions, seeking the advice of an attorney is compatible with mediation.

 

Why should I try mediation?

Mediation can be an effective first step in trying to resolve a conflict. It saves time, money and energy that might otherwise be spent tangled in a frustrating legal process. In mediation, people in conflict decide for themselves the solution that is right for them. Mediation helps people clear the air so they can preserve their relationship, which otherwise might be damaged if they went to court.

 

What situations can be mediated?

  • Neighbor issues: property-line disputes, animal noise, shared walls, trees
  • Landlord/tenant problems: money owed, payment plans, deposits, refunds, back rent
  • Family conflicts: decision making about care of aging parents or other family members, communicating with teens
  • Real estate disputes: earnest money, non-disclosure of damage
  • Small claims: property damage, money owed
  • Business issues: partner disagreements, client complaints
  • Employee conflicts: office issues, coworkers who don’t get along
  • Group decision making: neighborhood associations, community organizations, schools, clubs, boards of directors

What does a typical mediation look like?

Clients meet with two mediators, who explain the process. Then the mediators ask the clients to agree to some guidelines for respectful communication. Each person will have an opportunity to share their side of the story, what they want, and what they each are willing to do to help solve the problem. The mediators will listen and ask questions, making sure clients are clearly hearing and understanding each other. If clients reach an agreement, the mediators will help ensure that the agreement is fair and specific.

 

Who are the mediators?

Our mediators are a diverse group of volunteers with at least 42 hours of comprehensive mediation training, with additional training required throughout the year. They are trained to be unbiased and neutral and to help people communicate effectively. They do not take sides and they do not review evidence.

 

Is mediation legally binding?

Under certain conditions, some agreements reached in real estate mediations can be legally binding. Other types of mediations generally are not. Disputants will create a written agreement and will receive a copy. We cannot guarantee that these written agreements will be upheld as legally binding should they end up in court.

 

How long does a mediation take?

Most mediations are scheduled for two hours. If disputants need more time, they may opt to schedule a second session later. Real estate mediations are scheduled for three hours.

Who/what should I bring to the mediation?

We encourage clients to bring only themselves, though they may bring a spouse or partner who is affected by the problem as well. Please do not bring your children. You may bring information such as logs or photos that you can use to help the other client understand your point of view. Other people who might be helpful to the mediation may attend, but only with prior approval of both parties. For real estate mediations, disputants may bring their realtor, broker and/or attorney. During the mediation, those people will be asked to attend as consultants rather than active participants. We prohibit the use of recording devices, as what is said in mediation is strictly confidential.

 

How much does a mediation cost?

We are committed to offering mediations for interpersonal disputes between two parties at no charge to those living in the greater Tucson community. We support these efforts through community funding and through private foundations and personal donations. To ensure this service remains available to everyone, we encourage participants to make a tax-deductible donation to the program. We accept donations at our offices, by mail, or through our website.

 

Where do mediations take place?

Mediations take place at our office at 3830 E. Bellevue St. in Tucson, or at other venues agreeable to both parties. We also set up mediations in other locations based on the needs of the clients.

 

I’m having a conflict with someone in another state. Can mediation be done via phone?

Yes, we can provide mediation services via conference call or videoconferencing.

 

Will you discuss my case with anyone (attorneys, law enforcement, case workers, etc.)

The entire mediation process is protected by law as confidential. We will not discuss your case with anyone without your permission to do so.  Neither our case records nor our mediators may be subpoenaed without a court order from a judge.

 

Who do I contact for more information or to schedule a mediation? 

Contact Community Mediation at (520) 323-1708 x 504 or mediation@ourfamilyservices.org.

 

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