Self-Referred Mediations

COVID-19 Update

Due to COVID-19, all of our services are now virtual. Our mediators use the video conferencing app "Zoom" to mediate, but if you do not have a device that can video call, you can use a phone. When you call our office at 570-374-1718, our case coordinator will explain the changes to you. 

At SVM, we use the Transformative Model of mediation, which emphasizes the decision-making capabilities and dignity of the parties participating in mediation. Family conflicts, eldercare conversations, neighbor disagreements, business disputes, and more are all reasons you may want to mediate. 

What to Expect

  1. If you are curious about mediation or want to talk over your situation, contact SVM at 570-374-1718, Monday – Friday. Our case coordinator will explain mediation to you and answer any questions you may have. As soon as all parties in your case have contacted our office, your mediation will be scheduled and you will receive a packet of information about your information. If you would like to attend Kids First, your class time will be scheduled. 

  2. You can mediate either at our Selinsgrove office or at our Lewisburg office. 

  3. When you arrive at SVM for your mediation, the co-mediators will explain the process. You can choose whether or not to mediate. If you would like to mediate, you sign the Agreement to Mediate form.

Possible Outcomes

If you and the other parties decide to mediate, there are several possible outcomes:

  • You may get feel stronger and less confused about your position and your wants.

  • You may understand the other party's position, wants, and needs better.

  • You may come to an agreement. It is entirely your choice to come to an agreement.

  • You may decide you don't want to mediate. 

  • You may want more than 1 mediation session, and can work that out after your first session.

 

Frequently Discussed Issues

Although every mediation is different, it may be helpful to you to familiarize yourself with frequently discussed issues. This can help you understand what issues are important to you before you begin mediating. 

For Custody Mediations

 

1. Legal Custody

  • Whether one or both parents will have “legal custody.” Legal custody means that a person has access to all medical, educational, psychological, counseling and religious records and information regarding a child or children. Additionally, all significant decisions regarding a child are made by the parent or parents who have legal custody.

2. Physical Custody Schedule

  • Whether the child or children will spend time with each parent according to a schedule and, if so, what the schedule will be.  The sharing of time is referred to as “physical custody.”

  • If one parent would like to make a temporary change in the schedule other than in an emergency situation, how much notice should be given to the other parent?

  • If a schedule is adopted, when and where will the change of physical custody from one parent to the other occur, and may the parents use any other people to bring or pick up the child(ren), such as other family members?

​3. Vacation Time 

  • Will provisions be made so that each parent will be able to spend vacation time with the child(ren)? If so, will there be a specific time when each parent will be able to vacation with the child(ren) and will the parent having physical custody be required to provide the other parent with travel information in advance of the trip, such as a written itinerary, destination addresses and phone numbers, and flight plans?

4. Holidays and Birthdays

  • Will there be arrangements for holidays and birthdays, such as New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day, mother’s birthday, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, father’s birthday, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, children’s birthdays, grandparents’ birthdays?

5. Special Events

  • Will any provision be made so that parents will cooperate with one another so that the children may attend special events, school events and family events, whenever practicable?

6. Phone Contact

  • Will provision be made for regular phone contact between the child(ren) and the parent who does not have physical custody?

7. Emergencies

  • What obligation shall each parent have, if any, to notify the other in the event of an emergency that arises when a child is in the parent’s custody? If the parties are to share legal custody, and the parent having physical custody at the time an emergency arises is either unable to attempt contact with the other parent before a decision needs to be made, or is unsuccessful after using all reasonable efforts to contact the other parent, may the parent having physical custody make a unilateral decision necessitated by the emergency circumstances without consulting the other parent?

8. Co-Parenting

  • Will the parties acknowledge the importance of the other parent in the lives of the children and agree to further a positive relationship between the child(ren) and the other parent, and avoid speaking negatively about the other parent to the children?

9. Privacy

  • Will the parents agree to be respectful of each other’s right to privacy?

10. Grandparents

  • Will provision be made for grandparents to spend time with the child(ren)?

11. Tax Returns

  • Will there be an agreement as to which parent is entitled to claim the child(ren) as a dependent on tax returns?

12. Further Mediations

  • If a dispute regarding custody arises in the future, will the parties agree to try to resolve the dispute in mediation prior to litigation?

For Divorce Mediations

  1. Are there assets to be divided up? How would you like to divide them?

  2. Are there any debts or liabilities to be divided up? How would you like to divide them?

  3. If you share a home or living space, how will you manage that?

  4. Are there any sentimental belongings you wish to divide?

  5. How would you like to communicate after your divorce?

For Other Mediations

 

Before you mediate, think about what an ideal mediation would look like for you and the other parties. What is important to you? What are your motivations for mediating? What style of communication works best for you? Do you have any buttons or triggers that make communication difficult? If so, how can you be aware of your buttons or triggers and brainstorm coping strategies? 

Contact

Email: casecoordinator@svmediation.org

Phone: 570-374-1718

Hours: 9am - 3pm Monday to Friday

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"Human connection is threatened as much by unhealthy peace as by unhealthy conflict."- Priya Parker