Frequently Asked Questions
- What is mediation?
- Is mediation voluntary?
- Is mediation confidential?
- What does it cost?
- When and where?
- How do I schedule a mediation?
- Who are the mediators?
- What types of disputes can be mediated?
- Why should I try mediation?
Mediation is a process in which trained, neutral persons ("mediators") help individuals in a dispute to communicate with one another, to understand each other, and if possible, to reach agreements that satisfy everyone's needs.
Unless ordered by a court, mediation is a voluntary process that the participants must be willing to try. In all mediations, the participants cannot be forced to agree to anything.
The AACRC has a very strict confidentiality policy:
All information, oral or written, disclosed during intake and/or mediation, shall be treated as confidential, with these exceptions:
- Suspected child abuse or neglect;
- Suspected elder abuse or neglect; or
- Credible threats of bodily harm to one's self or another person.
The AACRC provides mediation as a free service to our community, thanks to grants, donations, and our volunteer mediators. There is no charge to you.
Mediations can be held daytime, nighttime and weekends. Each session is two (2) hours in length. Additional sessions can be scheduled.
The AACRC uses neutral locations throughout Anne Arundel County. The intake office will work with you to find a time and location that works best for all the participants. We do not hold mediations at private residences or police stations.
The first step is to call the Center and ask for intake. The intake office is open 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday through Friday: 410-266-9033 (You may also leave a phone message at any time and your call will be returned at the earliest opportunity.) You will need either a telephone number or address for the parties involved. The intake office will then contact all the parties involved and explain the mediation process.
All of our mediators are professionally trained volunteers from the community. Volunteers have completed a minimum of 40 hours of training. The Center requires additional continuing education each year and provides advanced training in the area of parenting plans.
The AACRC will mediate just about any type of dispute between two or more individuals. Some examples of commonly mediated situations involve:
- Family Disputes, Parent/Teen, Parenting Plans
- Husband/Wife, Siblings, In-laws
- Employer/Employee, Co-workers
- Community Associations/Groups
The AACRC has an ongoing partnership with the District Court. Select cases are referred to the Center prior to the hearing date. You may also choose to try mediation prior to filing a case. Mediation does not take away your rights. If mediation does not resolve the conflict, you still have other avenues for resolution available.
- Mediation may save you time and will save you money.
We can normally schedule a mediation within two weeks & there is no fee.
- Mediation can help repair relationships.
- Mediation is a win/win process, where all of the participants get their needs met.
- In mediation, you speak for yourself and make your own decisions. The participants decide what will work best for their lives.
- Mediation can help protect your privacy.