(828) 251-6089 info@mediatewnc.org 50 S. French Broad Ave. Suite 258

Mediation FAQs

Here you will find many of the most frequently asked questions about our mediation services. Scroll through the list below to find answers to the questions that apply to you.

If you do not find the answer(s) that you are looking for, don’t hesistate to reach out to our Community Mediation Coordinator. Her contact information can be found below. 

If you don’t know if mediation is right for you, call The Mediation Center at (828) 251-6089 ext. 214 or email communitymediation@mediatewnc.org. We are happy to listen and answer your questions.

At The Mediation Center we cannot offer mediation services for family custody or visitation arrangements. If you need mediation for these issues or when you have a child custody case in court, see the following resources: The North Carolina Child Custody and Visitation Mediation Program (free and available to those with a pending custody action); North Carolina Association of Professional Family Mediators; and The Dispute Resolution Commission’s list of Family Financial Mediators. These resources should help you find a mediator who specializes in these areas.

After your first message, you will speak to a staff member. The staff member will listen to you explain the situation, asking clarifying questions. If mediation seems like a good option, the staff member will ask for contact info for the other party or parties. Mediation is always a voluntary process. We need to confirm that the other people want to take part. We will not share what you say during our conversations with the other people involved.

If the conflict is appropriate for mediation and both parties are willing to take part, a staff member will reach out to schedule a mediation.

Whenever you call The Mediation Center, it is important to always leave a message. Otherwise, we will not have any record that you called. Please make sure that your voicemail is set up and not full. You can also e-mail communitymediation@mediatewnc.org. That way, we can leave a message when a staff member returns your call. We will make every effort to return your call by the end of the next business day.

Mediation works best when people talk face-to-face. We offer mediation in person in Buncombe, Henderson, Polk, and Transylania counties.

We do not offer mediation in separate rooms or where you don’t have to see the other person.

We will work with you and the other person to find a time that works for everyone. Generally, we have appointments available for mediations throughout the week. We have options in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
The Mediation Center does not charge a fee for conflicts between individuals in their private lives. There may be a fee for resolving disputes within or among businesses or organizations.
Our team of mediators consists of local staff and volunteers trained to facilitate the mediation process. Our mediators have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Each of our mediators will walk you through the conflict resolution process. The end-goal is to find a resolution that works for everyone. Our mediators will remain neutral and non-judgmental throughout the mediation process. Our mediators will not tell you what to do, give advice, or decide who/what is right or wrong. There will usually be two mediators working together.
The parties in conflict and the mediator will sit down together at a table at the same time. The mediator will explain how mediation works. Then, they will go over a consent form to ensure that all participants choose to take part. After everyone signs the consent form, the mediator will invite both parties to talk about the conflict from their point of view. The mediator will work to understand each perspective. The mediator will ask questions for clarification when needed. Then, the parties will brainstorm ideas to resolve the topics in the conflict. If the participants agree on how to move ahead on some or all of the topics, the mediator will help put this agreement in writing.
Yes, mediation is confidential. Mediators cannot share information about what happened during mediation with few exceptions. The mediators cannot testify in a court cases or share information with anyone outside of the Mediation Center about what was said.

Exceptions to the confidentiality of mediation include information related to mandatory reporting. This encompasses topics such as elder abuse, child abuse, abuse of an adult with disabilities, or serious threat of harm to one’s self or others.

Each mediation session is scheduled for two hours. If extra time is needed, another mediation session can be scheduled at the conclusion of the first session. We do not have a limit set on the number of mediation sessions that can be used to resolve a conflict.
Our mediation process works best when only the people directly involved in conflict attend. Mediation works best when both sides honestly communicate their experience and perspective.

Mediators do not decide who is right or wrong. There is no need to bring “witnesses” to present “your case.” There will be no ruling. In mediation, a conflict will only be resolved when an agreement is reached that both parties support.

If you do want to bring someone with you to mediation, please first discuss the point with our Community Mediation Coordinator. For other people to attend, all parties must agree to this arrangement. If parties cannot agree whether more people should attend, we cannot schedule the mediation.

If you need a support person because of a disability, please let us know that information as soon as possible. Then, we can make a plan to accommodate these needs.

Our mediation process works best when only the people involved in conflict attend the mediation session.

If you would like to bring a lawyer to the mediation session, please let the Community Mediation Coordinator know. They can explain the extra steps required to make that an option. All individuals will need to made aware of our attorney policy. The lawyer will need to meet with a staff member of The Mediation Center. In this conversation, they will discuss the expectations for all participants during mediation. In every instance, all parties must agree to the presence of a lawyer during the mediation process.

Mediation is not like court, so you don’t need to bring anything with you. The mediators will not review any items. Instead, we will listen while you talk about the conflict. If you need legal advice, you should get that information beforehand. The mediator cannot provide you with legal advice under any circumstances.

Before arriving, it may be helpful to think through the following guiding questions:

  • What is most important to you about the conflict?
  • What ideas do you have about how to resolve the conflict?
  • How do you want to communicate your concerns and ideas to the other party?
If you have scheduled mediation and can no longer attend, please call us as soon as possible. We ask that you make every effort to attend scheduled mediations. Unfortunately, we can only reschedule each case two more times after the first cancellation. Regardless of the circumstances, we cannot schedule any mediation more than three times in total.
If you have reached an agreement and it’s not working or the situation has changed, we are happy to schedule another mediation session. Please give us a call or send an e-mail.
Research shows that most people follow agreements made in mediation. For questions about mediation and the law, it is best to ask an attorney. In North Carolina mediators (including our staff) are not allowed to give legal advice.
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. For example, 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.
Get In Touch

Get in touch with our Community Mediation Coordinator. You can reach her by phone at (828) 251-6089 x214 or by email at communitymediation@mediatewnc.org.