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, better understand each other, and form agreements that satisfy everyone’s needs.
Yes. Mediation is a voluntary process for all participants involved. Everyone must agree to attend the mediation and can end the process at any time for any reason. Participants cannot be forced to do anything they do not want to do or agree to anything they do not wish to agree to.
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.
Unless the case is court-ordered, the AACRC will not share any written agreements with parties outside of our program. Mediators and mediation participants are prohibited from sharing information from mediation in any judicial, administrative, or other hearing.
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 begin at any time between 8:30am-6pm on weekdays. We also schedule Re-Entry mediations every other Saturday. Each session is two (2) hours in length, and there is no limit on the number of sessions that can be held.
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 at 410-266-9033 and ask for intake. The intake office is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. (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 all parties involved. The intake office will then contact all of the parties involved to explain the mediation process and schedule a session.
All of our mediators are professionally trained volunteers from the community. Each volunteer mediator has completed a minimum of 50 hours of training. The Center requires additional continuing education each year and provides advanced training for Parenting Plan and Re-Entry mediations.
The AACRC will mediate just about any type of dispute between two or more individuals. Some examples of commonly mediated situations include:
- 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.
Additionally, the AACRC has a partnership with the Circuit Court. These cases are Parenting Plan cases, and mediation may be used to resolve the situation outside of court. The AACRC also mediates voluntary Parenting Plan cases for parents who have not opened a court case.
Finally, the AACRC mediates Prisoner Re-Entry mediations. These mediations occur at the correctional facilities in Jessup, MD and are used to help incarcerated men and women make plans with family members, friends, etc. on the outside to aid in their transition and prevent recidivism.
- Mediation may save you time and will save you money.
We can normally schedule a mediation within two weeks, and there is no fee.
- Mediation can help repair relationships.
- Mediation is a win/win process where all of the participants’ needs can be 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.