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Mediation Services At Samaritan

“Mediation really works – it can help people resolve the conflicts that occur in many different settings: the family, churches, neighborhoods and business.”

What is mediation? 
Mediation is an alternative to legal action in which a neutral facilitator helps people in serious disputes reach mutual agreement.  Mediation is voluntary and allows people to develop their own solutions.  A certified Samaritan mediator can help those who are in conflict engage in a respectful process that endeavors to provide reconciliation while preserving and sometimes transforming the relationship.  

What types of disputes can be mediated?
Virtually any kind of dispute can be mediated, although both parties must be willing to negotiate in “good faith.”  Good faith requires that both parties agree to share information, listen to each other carefully and consider moving from their initial positions.
Examples of disputes that can be mediated:
• Dissolution of marriage, property settlements, parenting plans
• Workplace disputes:  supervisor-employee, employee-employee
• Church disputes
• Business and sales disputes:  consumer complaints, products, repairs, rentals
• Family disputes:  truancy, teen issues
• Landlord/tenant disputes:  rent, deposits, repairs, noise
• Neighborhood disputes:  animals, property boundaries, noise, trees  

What are the advantages of mediation?
• High reward, low risk. All deliberations are confidential and, although mediation has a proven record of success, other remedies are still available if the results are unsatisfactory.
• Preserves relationships by using a process that respects both parties and works toward mutually beneficial solutions, participants often report that mediation improves their communication.
• Cost-effective. Mediation is much less expensive than other forms of dispute resolution and is accomplished much more rapidly.
• Convenient. Appointments can be scheduled during the day, evenings or on weekends.

What is the role of mediation for divorcing couples?
The primary purpose of mediation for couples who are in the process of divorce is to help them reach a mutually beneficial agreement about the division of their assets and debt and, when they have children, develop a fair and effective parenting plan. 
Mediation is a positive, cost-effective way to resolve issues in a manner that can help couples find “win-win” solutions. 
Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice.  Although the mediation process allows the couple to work together to  resolve parenting and property division issues, it does not provide them with legal advice or advocacy.  Mediators do not file documents with the court. 
Samaritan mediators strongly advise divorcing couples to seek legal advice before completing the dissolution process or to become their own “experts” and  will provide information about resources that can complement the mediation process.

What is the cost of Samaritan's Mediation Services?
Our standard fee consists of a $100 case management fee and an hourly rate based on the combined income of the parties.  The hourly rate ranges from $120 to $225 per hour for time spent in mediation sessions.  Participants decide who will pay the hourly fee.
For organizations, in addition to the $100 case management fee, the hourly rate ranges from $150 to $300 per hour, depending on the type of mediation and the organizations.

Kent: 409 3rd Ave S.  
Seattle: 564 NE Ravenna Blvd.  
Other locations may be arranged.


© Samaritan Center of Puget Sound