What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal, respectful and productive way to solve disputes out of court. It is a safe and confidential place to have difficult conversations.

In mediation, people work together to maximize available resources and find the best possible solution for all. Parties have the right to ask for all information they need to make informed decisions, and will not be pressured into a settlement before they feel ready.

Mediation is an especially good process for people who will have a continuing personal or business relationship after the dispute is resolved.

Mediation can take place before or after a lawsuit; in situations of very high or very low conflict; with two or multiple parties; and involving almost any kind of dispute. Many mediations are attended by clients and their lawyers; however, parties need not bring their lawyers to mediation.

What does a mediator do?

A mediator is a referee, a coach, a knowledgeable guide, a source of legal information ( but not legal advice), an impartial and realistic “sounding board”, and an expert in helping people in distress communicate better.

A mediator provides a fair and safe process for people to assess their needs, stay focused, communicate effectively, and find a satisfactory outcome. Mediators are neutral towards all parties but very directive when it comes to providing a fair and balanced process.

A mediator will help parties work through proposed solutions to ensure they are realistic and workable. Although a mediator will provide legal information, he or she cannot give legal advice. We always prefer that parties bring their lawyers with them to the mediation; however this is not required. But everyone should have a lawyer with whom they can consult as needed.


Mediation is a process that empowers the parties to resolve all aspects of their dispute in a way that is best for them. Mediation respects the needs of each person involved in the dispute. Family mediation allows parents to stay focused on the needs of their children. Civil mediation allows parties to avoid the risk and expense of litigation. Mediation is less adversarial, less stressful and less expensive than going to court. Research shows that people who use mediation are usually more satisfied with both the process and the outcome than people who use the courts to resolve their disputes.


Mediators charge an hourly rate which is usually shared by the parties. The cost of the process depends on how long it takes. Some disputes can be resolved in one meeting; others may take several meetings.

Why choose Riverdale Mediation?

Riverdale Mediation offers knowledgeable, friendly and affordable mediation services in a comfortable environment. Our commitment is to you; to help you find the best possible solution in the best possible way.