MMC relies on a dedicated core of volunteer mediators who have received training in civil and/or family mediation. Many use mediation in their legal, human resources, or social services professions. The main types of mediation MMC provides are below:
- Community Mediation: Provides mediation in disputes such as neighbor-neighbor and tenant-landlord cases. A $25 administrative fee per party is used as a deposit to ensure individuals attend mediation. Mediation is free to the community. The mediation session is scheduled for two-hours and additional sessions can be scheduled.
- Family Mediation: Provides low-cost mediation services relating to separation, child custody, and divorce, by skilled mediators. Rate based on a sliding-fee scale*. A $50 administrative fee, typically divided by the parties, applies.
- Real Estate and/or Workplace Mediation: Assists disputants in resolving conflict in real estate or workplace disputes. A flat hourly rate and a $50 administrative fee per party applies.
- Magistrate’s Court Mediation: MMC has a contract with Richland and Lexington County’s Magistrate Court to provide volunteer mediators to Magistrate’s Court to save time and cost in court trials and legal fees. Magistrate’s Court cases requesting a jury trial have the opportunity to mediate their issue prior to the scheduling of the jury trial.
- Volunteer Mediator Training and Conflict Resolution Training – Please see Training page.
Whatever your mediation needs may be, MMC mediators use the following process:
As practiced, mediation is a confidential, non-adversarial and voluntary process through which a mediator hears a dispute between two or more individuals and facilitates the discussions and decisions that may lead to an agreement. The mediator remains neutral and does not decide who is right or wrong, but helps foster a discussion about issues that are important to both parties. The actual decisions reached are up to the parties in dispute.
Mediation is a means by which people involved in disputes are helped to respectfully and peacefully resolve their differences. Mediation allows the individuals in dispute to retain control of the decision-making process. The same dispute can be litigated. Mediation does not deny individuals the opportunity to resolve their dispute through litigation. The cost of litigation is often lengthy and expensive. Once the dispute reaches the courts, parties relinquish the decision making process to the judicial system.
For mediation to be most successful, the parties should be willing to participate in good faith to reach a settlement. This does not mean a positive outcome will be achieved in every situation. MMC’s mediators work to reach an agreement however if an agreement is not the outcome of the mediation, everyone leaves understanding the dispute and how each person perceives their position and interest. Often, parties in a mediation experience improved relationships, even if an agreement is not reached.
Mediation is a voluntary process. NO ONE can force anyone to mediate. The courts can order mediation as an outcome for dispute however individuals have the opportunity not to participate and the courts will be notified of their decision. Individuals refusing to mediate are often asked to place their decision in writing for the purpose of the court and the overall process. Any party may terminate the session at any time during the mediation session. Individuals who participate in mediation do not block access to the court system or future filing.
For information or assistance, call 803-714-1176.
|See Sliding Scale
|Free (2 hours)
|*Starting @ $50.00
*Sliding Fee Scale for MMC Family Mediations (based on Gross Annual Income):
$9,999 or less = $20.00/hr
$10,000 – $19,999 = $30.00/hr
$20,000 – $29,999 = $40.00/hr
$30,000 – $39,999 = 60.00/hr.
$40,000 – $49,999 = $80.00/hr
*$50,000 or more = $100.00/hr or more
*Midlands Mediation Center has volunteer mediators. Individuals volunteer their time at the center to assist individuals who can not afford mediated services outside of the sliding fee. Suppose individuals each make over $60K with a combined household income exceeding $120K; in those cases, we recommend contacting a private mediator. MMC can provide a list of certified/trained mediators to support their mediation needs. MMC will charge $125.00 per hour per person for individuals meeting this criterion. We will not deny anyone services.
In addition to the hourly fees for mediation services, each party typically splits MMC’s $50 administrative fee.
We accept cash, checks, credit or debit cards for payment.
Midlands Mediation Center provides facilitation services for groups, boards of directors, organizations, companies, and families. Neutral and confidential facilitators allows individuals full participation in meetings, dialogues and community gathering. We have facilitators available to help organize and run meetings, provide workshops and to be neutral discussion managers who can help groups, organizations, businesses and government entities. We also have trained Restorative Facilitators available for appropriate inquiries in cases where community harm has been caused with a goal toward restorative outcomes.
Facilitation leads individuals into a conversation with the help of a trained omni-partial facilitator. The facilitator is present to assist the participants to overcome communicative barriers, and engage in a productive conversation about an issues of mutual concern. Facilitation adopts the same premise of self-determination therefore, it is not necessarily designed to produce or work toward an agreements, however agreements can be created within the process. There are numerous methods in facilitation to support full participation of individuals and groups such as Fish Bowl, World Cafe’s, Circle Processes, and Open Space Technology.
“We are in a much better place since we had a facilitator help us to pull things together. Thanks to the mediation program for all your help.” ––A recent facilitation client
Conflict cost the United States of America more than $461 Billion dollars a year. Conflict leads to employee dissatisfaction and lost productivity, legal lawsuits which burn up valuable employee time, resources and legal fees; and broken families creating
40-hour standard mediation training and the mediation process.
20-hour standard facilitation training, group facilitation and community meeting processes.
De-escalation, Active Bystanders, Conflict coaching and Basic Conflict Skill development
Managers report that most of their firings are due to their employees’ inability to get along with others. Family members may grow so far apart that communications break down and they become alienated. Neighbors sometimes conflict due to different living standards and codes of conduct. College roommates may face personality and lifestyle clashes.
In truth, most people are not taught how to manage interpersonal conflicts. Developing a better understanding of the nature of conflict and how individuals deal with conflict differently is a first step toward productive communication.
Midlands Mediation Center (MMC) can help. MMC welcomes opportunities to partner with community organizations, agencies, and schools to provide fee-for-service trainings in Conflict Resolution, and related skills such as Productive Communication, Conflict Coaching or Mediation. MMC offers training workshops on such CR-related topics as those listed below.
Workshops or seminars may be customized to meet the needs of the organization – from one-hour introductory sessions, to one-day or multi-day trainings. We use an interactive style of teaching, using theory and skills-building, while incorporating role-play as time allows.
To inquire about a training tailored to your needs, contact the Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how MMC may be able to assist. If a decision is reached to proceed with a training project, MMC will respond as appropriate with a proposed scope of services and budget for further discussion.
Midlands Mediation Center’s Conversations are created as a process that allows people, usually in small groups, to share their perspectives and experiences with one another about difficult issues. We encourage individuals to move from debate to dialogue to discuss things like, religion, poverty, systemic oppressions, racial disparities, youth violence and same-sex marriage.
We invite individuals to be curious instead of judgment about differences they hear from others. Conversations are not about winning an argument or coming to an agreement, but about understanding and learning. Our conversations help individuals to dispels stereotypes, builds trust and enables them to be open to other perspectives that are very different from their own. These conversations can, and often does, lead to both personal and collaborative action.