Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule a Mediation, Facilitation or Training with the Concord Mediation Center?

To schedule Mediation, Facilitation or Training, contact Concord Mediation Center:
By phone at (402) 345-1131
By fax at (402) 884-7057
By e-mail at contact@concord-center.com

What will the Concord Mediation Center do for me?

Concord Mediation Center staff will talk with you about your concern and how mediation, facilitation and/or training will work for you.  Then other individuals involved in your situation will be contacted to determine their willingness and ability to participate.  After the initial information is gathered and all agree to work together, Concord Center will schedule your mediation, facilitation or training with the appropriate mediators/facilitators.

All parties are given an opportunity to share their information in an atmosphere of safety and respect.   All discussed information is confidential and cannot be used for any other legal proceedings.

Are agreements reached in mediation binding in court?
If the participants reach an agreement, the mediator will prepare a written record of the mutually satisfactory solutions.  Generally speaking, parties who make a written agreement to do or not to do something have a contract, enforceable in court as any contract may be.

In some situations, especially those related to divorce or post-divorce matters, agreements can and often should be, made orders of the court.   This can be done by working with an attorney.

Where do mediation sessions take place?
Concord Mediation Center mediators conduct sessions in private conference rooms.  The sessions may be held in Concord Mediation Center’s secure office space or another neutral and safe location.  Parking will be available to you at the site.

How long does mediation take?
A mediation session is typically scheduled in three-hour blocks.  The number of mediation meetings depends on the nature and complexity of the situation.  Meeting times and length are customized to the specific circumstances of those participating.

How much does mediation cost?
Concord Mediation Center determines charges on a per session rate based on a variety of factors such as complexity of the issues and any preparatory work that may be necessary. During your initial conversation(s) with a Center Coordinator your fees will be discussed and an estimate of cost will be determined before proceeding.

In general, mediation can be scheduled more quickly, and communication between parties is more efficient compared to either legal proceedings or “just letting things ride.”   Depending on the situation, the cost savings in time, money, and/or stress can be significant.

As a non-profit mediation center, Concord Mediation Center will not deny mediation services based on inability to pay.  If your income and household size qualify you for a sliding scale fee, your fee will be based on your ability to pay.

Who attends a mediation/facilitation session?
Typically, two mediators/facilitators and the individuals affected by the topic or conflict of concern attend the meeting.  In larger groups individuals may represent various departments or community organizations.  Attorneys, counselors, accountants or other representatives may also attend, but typically participate in an advisory capacity.

Can my lawyer participate in mediation or facilitated decision-making?
Lawyers may participate in mediation; however, their role is typically as a consultant or a support and go-to for specific legal information.   Participants speak and make decisions for themselves.

Am I required to participate in mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process.  However, if mediation is court-ordered, your decision not to participate may result in consequences that affect your court case.

What if I am afraid of the person(s) with whom I experience a conflict?
Concord Mediation Center continuously gauges the safety of all participants when proceeding with mediation.  Issues such as domestic abuse and sexual abuse will likely disqualify a case from mediation.

Do mediators/facilitators meet with participants separately?
The mediators will meet with participants jointly unless circumstances dictate separating the participants to ensure their safety or to improve their communication.

Does the mediator take sides in a dispute?
The mediator does not side with any participant.  Instead, the mediator creates an atmosphere where participants are encouraged to explain circumstances from their perspective and to learn about the perspectives of others involved. The focus of mediation or facilitated decision-making is on active problem-solving by all participating.

Do mediators offer advice?
Concord Mediation Center mediators do not offer legal advice or other opinions.  Instead, the mediators allow participants to determine the outcome of their discussion.  The focus of mediation or facilitated decision-making is on active problem-solving by all participating.

What if we do not reach an agreement during mediation?
Any form of recourse that applied before mediation remains available to persons who do not reach an agreement during mediation.

What is the difference between mediation, arbitration, facilitation, and negotiation?

Mediation is the process of working out common solutions between conflicting parties with all parties providing input and agreeing on the solutions.

Facilitation is the process of easing communication, the sharing information, and the use of these to build a solution or plan.

Negotiation is the process of give and take working toward building a common solution

Arbitration is the process of a third party choosing the solution.

In essence:
Mediation by a neutral third party often, if not always, includes facilitation and negotiation.
Facilitation often includes mediation and negotiation.
Negotiation can be mediated and/or facilitated by a neutral third party.
Arbitration requires none of the above.

How do I become a mediator?
If you are interested in becoming a mediator, you may contact the Office of  Dispute Resolution for information about upcoming Basic mediation training.  You may also obtain information from the Nebraska Mediation Association.