In short, no. The longer answer is that although generally when people think about mediation they think about it in terms of divorce mediation can help in any number of areas outside that of the family.
But if you wanted proof of where mediation is expected to be of use outside of the world of divorce look to the World Bank who this week urged ancient rivals India and Pakistan to mediate over the Indus Water Treaty.
The Treaty deals with how the two countries use the rivers whose waters they both share. In this case the dispute arises from the use of hydroelectric power stations (Kishenanga and Ratle).
Each country has been asked to put forward the names of 3 possible arbitrators for random selection but at the same time has proposed 3 neutral parties to act as mediators.
You’ll recall (of course) that mediation isn’t arbitration as that is a form of judgment delivered to the parties whereas mediation is a process of reaching an agreement by the parties.
Another area where mediation has been used but will sadly no longer be automatically available is in the housing crisis in Carson City, Nevada.
When the recession was at its worst the State set up a Foreclosure Mediation Program to avoid people running up legal costs of fighting to keep their houses and more importantly keep them in their homes. The process will no longer accept applications from 31/12/16.
Set up in Jully 2009 the process has seen 9000 families settle disputes with their lenders through mediation.
Meanwhile in New South Wales other home owners are turning to mediation at a soon to close retirement park.
Hastings Point Park was sold to TriCare nearly 6 years ago and the company promptly issued eviction notices for the static caravans to be removed, effectively making the owners homeless.
Now the parties are set to attend mediation to resolve their issues which in the main revolve around the amount being paid to compensate homeowners.
Over in Germany it’s a question of employment rights and pay which has led to mediation being offered by Lufthansa to its pilots in an long standing dispute. The company is hoping to avoid further strikes by seeking an amicable solution through mediation.
A Lufthansa spokesperson said “We wrote this morning to union Vereinigung Cockpit to offer mediation and have proposed two mediators,"
Also in Germany commercial mediation is being proposed in the dispute between electronic giants Metro AG and Media-Saturn.
Billionaire founder of Media Saturn, Erich Kellerhalls, has regularly come into conflict with Metro over the running of the business in which he still owns a 22% share.
To assist the mediation progressing Kellerhals chose to take down a number of critical posts from his website which is understood to have led to the parties agreeing to mediate.
So whilst family mediation is still the best known area of alternative dispute resolution there is no limit to how mediation with Northwest Mediation can help resolve your commercial or private issues.
If you would like to discuss commercial or individual mediation call Ed Johnson on 07931318347 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org