Mediation is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties without involving judges or litigation. The mediator is an impartial and neutral third party, and guides the parties to negotiate their own settlement based on their issues and interests. Rainbow Mediation Services uses a facilitative mediation model, with two mediators serving jointly as the neutral third party.

Our process is private and confidential. We help parties with many kinds of disputes, including separation or divorce, parenting plan issues, and disputes between neighbors, colleagues and friends. As long as all parties are willing and able to participate in good faith and with an open mind, mediation can help solve many disputes.

Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution. Others include arbitration, collaborative law, negotiation, and conciliation. Rainbow Family Law also practices collaborative law.

There are many reasons people choose mediation over solutions involving adversarial legal approaches and courts. Mediation is often a much less expensive process. While a mediator’s fees are similar to an attorney’s hourly rate, the mediation process usually takes much less time overall to arrive at a satisfactory outcome. Mediation is also confidential. Except in rare cases, court proceedings are open to the public, but mediators may not be subpoenaed to testify in court and their notes are usually destroyed after the mediation sessions are complete.

Mediation is also a creative, collaborative process. Guided and coached by skilled mediators, parties often find they are able to resolve their disputes in ways they had not envisioned prior to starting mediation. Parties who settle a dispute through mediation are much more likely to comply with the settlement agreement and to feel that the result is “win/win” for all parties.

Mediation is especially valuable for disputants who have a relationship they want to preserve, for example neighbors, work colleagues and family members. This is because the mediation process allows for all parties’ interests—emotional, intellectual and substantive—to be discussed and often met. Even if they don’t get everything they thought they wanted, participants feel heard and their interests validated, key elements to maintaining the relationship with the other party.

Is Mediation an option for you? Rainbow Mediation Services provides a range of services for people exploring mediation. Typically we can schedule the first mediation session within one week of completing the intake and assessment process.

There is no cost for the initial intake and assessment, whether in person or by phone. At intake we will ask you some questions about the issue(s) and the parties to the dispute to assess whether it is appropriate for mediation. We will then recommend one of the following options:

  Mini-mediation:   In-person session up to one hour

  Standard Mediation:   In-person two-hour session

  Half-day Mediation:   In-person session up to 3.5 hours

  Phone Conciliation:   Certain issues may be resolved over the phone through follow-up calls to all parties. We will assess this option during intake. Please call us for your no-cost intake interview.

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