Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation

I want to use mediation. What do I do?

Call The Mediation Center at (828) 251-6089 x214 or e-mail communitymediation@mediatewnc.org. We will listen to you talk about the situation to see if mediation is a good fit.  We will ask you how to get in touch with the other person.  We will also talk with them about the conflict and whether they want to participate. If both people agree to participate and we believe that the conflict is appropriate for mediation, we will call you back about scheduling.  

It is important to leave a message when you call – otherwise we will not know that you called. Please be sure that your voicemail box is set up and that you check your messages.  We will make every effort to return your call by the end of the next business day.

We cannot share what you say during intake with the other people involved in the conflict.

When is mediation available?

We have appointments available on weekdays in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  We will work with you and the other person to find a time that works for everyone.

Where can we have mediation?  Can we do this on the phone?

We have offices in Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard.  Mediation works best when people talk face-to-face. We do not offer phone or online/video mediation.

How much does mediation cost?

The Mediation Center does not charge a fee for conflicts between individuals in their private lives.  There may be a fee for disputes within businesses or organizations.  If your case was referred by the criminal courts, the court may charge a $60 fee, but the Mediation Center is not part of this process.

Who are our mediators?

Our mediators are local volunteers trained in communication and conflict resolution. They have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.  The mediators will walk you through a conflict resolution process with the goal of finding a resolution that work for everyone.  They are neutral and non-judgmental. They don’t tell you what to do, give advice, or decide who is right or wrong.

What happens during mediation?

The people involved in the conflict and the mediators sit down together at a table. The mediators will explain how mediation works, and go over a consent form.  After everyone signs it, the  will invite both people to talk about the conflict from their point of view.  The mediators will work on understanding everyone’s perspective and will ask questions to clarify what’s important you to.  Then, you and the other party will brainstorm ideas to resolve the important topics in the conflict.  If you are able to agree on some solutions, the mediators will help you put this agreement in writing.

Please note that we do not offer mediation in separate rooms.

Is the mediation confidential?

Yes. The mediators cannot share information about what happened in mediation (unless there is information about abuse of a child or disabled adult, which we would have to report to DSS).  The mediators can’t testify in a court cases or share information with anyone outside of the Mediation Center about what was said.

How long does a session take?

Mediation sessions are scheduled for two hours. If you need more time, another mediation session can be scheduled at the end.  You can come to mediation as many time as you want to to resolve your conflict.

Who can attend the mediation?

Mediation works best when only the people directly involved in conflict come. Since the mediators won’t be deciding who is right or wrong, there’s no need to bring “witnesses”. If you want to bring someone with you to mediation, please discuss it first with our intake specialist.  All parties have to agree to have the extra people attend.  If parties can’t agree on whether or not additional people will come, we cannot schedule mediation. If you need a support person with you because of a disability, please let us know that right away.

How should I prepare?

It is helpful to think about what’s important to you about the conflict, what ideas you might have to resolve it, and how you want to communicate your concerns and ideas to the other person.  Mediation is not like court, so it’s not necessary to bring documents or materials with you.  The mediators will not review these items. Instead, we’ll listen while you talk about the conflict. If you need legal advice or information about your situation, you should get that information beforehand. The mediator cannot provide you with legal advice under any circumstances.

What is I need to reschedule?

If you have scheduled mediation and you cannot attend, please call us as soon as possible.  We can only reschedule each case twice, regardless of the circumstances. 

I’ve been ordered to participate in mediation by the courts.  Do I really have to?

NC law may require the district attorney to refer certain types of cases to mediation.  Under the law, referral to mediation, not participation in mediation, is mandatory. Mediation is most likely to be effective in resolving disputes when parties participate voluntarily. 

The Mediation Center recognizes that there may be consequences for parties who do not participate, including that the district attorney may decline to prosecute their case. Parties are encouraged to seek such information from their lawyer or from court personnel during their court appearance.

Have more questions?

Give us a call or send an email: (828) 251-6089 x214 or communitymediation@mediatewnc.org

Buncombe County

40 N. French Broad Ave., Suite B
Asheville, NC 28801

828-251-6089

fax: 828-232-5140
Info@mediatewnc.org

Henderson/Polk Counties

103 South Grove St.
Hendersonville, NC 28792

828-697-7055

fax: 828-232-5140
info@mediatewnc.org

Transylvania County

137 North Broad St., Suite 1
Brevard, NC 28712

1-877-559-5136

fax: 828-232-5140
info@mediatewnc.org