What Can Be Mediated?

Almost anything can be mediated if the parties are willing to try.  Mediation is now being used to settle wars, international boundary disputes, sexual harassment cases, workplace problems, lawsuits, neighborhood disputes, real estate claims, contractor issues and divorces.  The Wenatchee Valley Dispute Resolution Center has qualified mediators for most any case including the following types of disputes:

Marriage Dissolution    Parenting Plans or Revisions    Partnership Dissolution (personal or business)    Family Relations    Parent/Child Disputes    Senior Citizens’ Issues    Small Claims Court Cases

Neighborhood Disagreements about Noise, Children, Pets, etc.    Landlord/Tenant Disputes    Consumer/Business Disputes    Civil Complaints    Government/Citizen Disputes

Organizational/Agency Mediation    Multi-party Mediation

If you don’t see your specific situation listed here, please call the WVDRC Office (509) 888-0957 to see if mediation might be appropriate for you.

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Consumer and Merchant

These cases involve a conflict between a consumer/customer and a merchant/business. They are generally disputes over issues related to services or products/goods that have been purchased, or contracted for, with a business. Our mediators will help all parties involved express their concerns and work out a mutually beneficial resolution. The results save money and time, and preserve or build customer relations; as well as the reputation of the business. If you are a business owner, we can help you provide distinguished customer service.

Dissolution/Divorce

Mediation provides an opportunity and environment for mutually and efficiently resolving issues of communication, separation, division of debt and property, and other matters in a private, safe, and positive environment. With the help of certified skilled mediators, parties share their views and have the opportunity to address important issues in a cooperative and constructive way. Resolutions that reflect the individual’s values and needs of both are created together and accepted by BOTH parties .

Mediation will help you:

  • Consider the needs of your children first,
  • Retain control over the outcome,
  • Remove the unpredictability of trial,
  • Minimize the financial impact on your lives,
  • Reduce the delay, cost, and emotional turmoil so often associated with divorce and other family issues,
  • Express your needs and concerns,
  • Be creative in your problem solving beyond the ability of a judge,
  • Reduce the likelihood of post-divorce disputes,
  • Heal your family and rebuild your lives under more positive terms.
Family Issues

Families are complex. Tensions that arise over a variety of issues or circumstances when mixed with high emotion and/or inadequate communication can easily turn into conflict. Many times the conflict escalates because family members may find it hard to confront each other and/or the issues. This results in huge losses of energy, both physically and emotionally. We can help families work through many kinds of issues including:

  • lending and/or collecting money loaned
  • sharing responsibilities for caring for family members
  • assets left in a will
  • parent and youth relationships
    • sometimes the conflict within families generated as children grow up can be difficult to manage. Youths, typically in middle school and high school, and their parent/parents may find mediation a valuable tool to working out expectations, revising family rules, and coming to common understandings about how rules will be enforced.
  • conflict in the lives of senior citizens’ and their families
    • adult sibling disagreement over the care of a frail and elderly parent,
    • conflict between seniors and their children over selling the family home,
    • determining the parents’ move to a new setting, such as an assisted living facility,
    • tensions arising from three generations of a family living together and/or
    • conflicts related to financial and estate matters.
Housing

Mediation is an effective and efficient process to help work out issues related to housing. We can help you with a conflict with a landlord, tenant, contractor, roommate, realtor, or client in any of the following areas, as well as your unique situation.

  • rental agreements
  • real estate
  • construction projects
  • remodeling, repairs
  • roommate situations
  • shared bills
Interpersonal/Marriage/Relationship

Relationships are complicated. As a result people may want the help of mediators to guide their communication as they work through conflicts in their interpersonal relationship, marriage, or committed relationship. They can make agreements as to how they will deal with recurring issues, fights, or misunderstandings. If they have decided to end their marriage or committed relationship, they can mediate aspects of their dissolution such as a parenting plan for their children and the division of their assets (property) and liabilities (debt).

Neighborhood

Disputes revolving around relationships between people, who have a common or shared interest, typically neighbors/ friends, can benefit from mediation.  Parties agree to try mediation to resolve the issues and to develop improved communication skills.

These types of conflict might include any of the following issues but are not limited to these. Mediation can help with your unique situation.

  • disputes over a barking dog
  • other animal control issues
  • shared property line issues
  • issues that have resulted in repeated calls to police/sheriff to have them control the other party
  • code enforcement issues
  • issues where someone may have considered taking out anti-harassment orders
Parenting Plans

Mediation is a voluntary process that provides an opportunity and environment for mutually and efficiently resolving issues of communication, separation, child custody, visitation, and other parenting matters in a private, safe, and positive environment. With the help of certified skilled mediators, parties share their views and have the opportunity to address important issues in a cooperative and constructive way. Resolutions that reflect the individual’s values and needs of both parties are jointly created and accepted by BOTH parties .

The State of Washington require that parents must have a “Parenting Plan” for any minor children from the marriage before a judge will grant a divorce. Mediators can assist parents with the issues of the parenting plan while at the same time helping parties emotionally clean up unresolved issues, plan for healthy communication in the future, and create plans for dealing with potential future issues such as transfer of the children, on-going changing needs as the children grow, and new partners in either parent’s life. It is vital to the emotional and physical health of children that divorcing parents move through the pain of the past and return to the role of fully functioning parents. When parents can’t move on, their children suffer in school, in peer relationships and in self- esteem. Conflict is costly in many ways.

Mediation will help you:

  • Consider the needs of your children first,
  • Retain control over the outcome,
  • Remove the unpredictability of trial,
  • Minimize the financial impact on your lives,
  • Reduce the delay, cost, and emotional turmoil so often associated with divorce and other family issues,
  • Express your needs and concerns,
  • Be creative in your problem solving beyond the ability of a judge,
  • Reduce the likelihood of post-divorce disputes and
  • Help heal your family and rebuild your lives under more positive terms.
Real Estate/Property/Boundaries

Mediation is an effective and efficient process to help work out issues related to real estate transactions, property disputes, and boundary issues.

Small Claims

Mediation is a voluntary process that provides an opportunity and environment for mutually and efficiently resolving small claims issues in a private, safe, and positive environment. With the help of certified skilled mediators, parties share their views and have the opportunity to address important issues in a cooperative constructive way. Resolutions that reflect the individual values and needs of both parties are created together and accepted by BOTH parties. Mediation allows you to be creative in your problem solving beyond the ability of a judge.

Mediation sessions are scheduled in 3 hour blocks of time. If you have filed a case in District Court you will have no additional fee. Otherwise, each party has a fee for each 3 hour session. Your fee is determined on a sliding scale based on your income. The total number of sessions it will take depends on the complexity of the situation and the participants’ ability to cooperate. Most small claims cases can be settled in one session. Mediation is intended to be a short-term process. In most small claims cases neither party is completely right or wrong. As a result, your Chelan County District Court Judges encourage you to try to settle your case before the trial.

Mediation will help you:

  • Retain control over the outcome,
  • Remove the unpredictability of trial,
  • Reduce the delay, cost, and emotional turmoil so often associated with conflict,
  • Express your needs and concerns,
  • Increase the likelihood of compliance and
  • Help you move forward under more positive terms.
Workplace/Employment

There are times when people who work together don’t get along. When the conflict affects people’s ability to do their jobs, assistance may be needed to resolve the problems by mediating the conflict and their continuing relationship.

Mediation is an effective and efficient process to help resolve employment disputes. A neutral mediator can assist parties in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement. Choosing to resolve employment disputes through mediation promotes a better work environment, reduces costs, and brings satisfaction for employees and employers. According to Halvorson Human Resources, the cost of employee turnover ranges from approximately 3 months pay for an hourly worker to $145,000 for a hi–tech employee. Conflict is expensive.

Since mediation is both voluntary and confidential, the employer’s expectations regarding the involved employees’ participation and desire for a copy of the mediated agreement must be worked out between the employer, employees and the WVDRC in advance of the mediation.