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What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a problem-solving process facilitated through a third-party neutral. This third-person is a certified mediator who has competed at least 30 hours of training in conflict resolution techniques, neutrality, agreement writing, and ethics. In Nebraska, the Nebraska Supreme Court Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution is in charge of regulating mediation by certifying mediation centers who then certify mediators across Nebraska. There are many mediation centers in different counties across Nebraska. To look for one, you can look in the Nebraska Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution’s website for approved mediation centers. These centers have their affiliated mediators. These mediators sometimes can be licensed attorneys who are also certified mediators. Certified mediators cannot give participants legal advice. Participants must retain their own legal counsels. Below is a list of two mediation centers near Omaha, Nebraska:
Concord Mediation Center
Primary Office: Omaha
Counties Covered: Douglas and Sarpy
To find more mediation centers, please click here.
Mediation is a voluntary process where parties get decide whether they want to participate or agree on anything. The mediator has the power to terminate the process if the parties are unable to agree or if the agreement parties reached are unconscionable. The termination itself will not be prejudicial against either party in any proceeding.
We have seen more and more courts refer family cases involving parenting plan, visitation. and child custody to mediation. Nebraska Revised Statute 42-364 (1)(a) requires divorces cases involving child support, child custody, parenting time, visitation to be referred to mediation, unless (1) parents come up their own parental agreement that is bona fide and not to avoid the Parenting Act, or (2) when mediation is not possible without undue delay or causing hardship to either parent or the kids. In such cases, the court can waive the mediation process upon application by one of the parities.
How Do I Sign Up For Mediation?
You can call your local mediation center and tell them that you want to sign up for mediation. They generally will provide you an application and tell you that they will contact the other party, and he/she must also apply for mediation. If not, the mediation cannot begin.
If you already in a lawsuit and the court requires you to go to mediation, you must comply with the court’s order. You need to contact the mediation designated by the court, if there is one, and tell the mediation your case number and wiliness to participate.
What Happens During Mediation?
It all depends on the mediator and types of dispute. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process without formal legal procedures. You may bring your lawyers, documents, witnesses, and relevant people to the mediation if your mediator thinks all parties agree with such process. You may also request to not be in the same room with, or not to talk to the other party. The mediator can be the go-between person delivering your messages.
Generally, the entire mediation process is confidential. Anything said or done during the mediation cannot be brought to court. Because of this rule, many people like to go through mediation before they try their cases in court. This is a general rule. The exceptions are if anything is going to endanger other persons or cause harm to their finances, such evidence must be reported to the police and relevant authority. The other items maybe disclosed to the court include whether the parties signup for mediation, and whether there is a final agreement reached. If there is an written agreement, generally, the written agreement will spell out whether itself can be disclosed and what items can be shared during the mediation.
Is There A Fee?
There is generally a fee. In some cases, certain mediation centers allow participants to apply for fee waiver or scholarships. You need to contact your mediation center and ask for fee schedules.
Can I Bring My Lawyer To Mediation?
Maybe, it depends on the type of dispute and the mediator. Some mediators will not allow parties lawyers present during the mediation meetings. By default, if your mediator does not say anything about bringing your lawyer to the mediation meetings, then you can. Regardless of whether your mediator allows your lawyer being present during mediation meetings, you can consult with your lawyer before, during, and after the mediation meetings. The mediator will not advise you what is fair.
A mediator must remain neutral as to whether the parties use mediation or some other process to resolve the dispute. Under no circumstances may a mediator coerce a party into continuing mediation or reaching agreement. Under no circumstances may a mediator make a substantive decision for a party or advise for or against any proposal under consideration.