Mediation Ignores Assumptions

Mediation is a way to resolve issues without having a third party impose a solution on parties. Rather than having a judge decide what's best, you and the other party have an opportunity to rationally evaluate what's important to each person and make decisions for yourselves. Mediation allows you to take advantage of a neutral party who walks you through the options and opportunities available and then you can think more clearly about the solution. Experienced mediators are able to help you look at the facts rather than the assumptions. Instead of "assuming" what the other party wants or thinks, it's much more productive to actually "know" what they want or think. Mediation allows you to understand viewpoints of everyone involved - including your own viewpoints and what's important to you. People often find that their assumptions are incorrect, and when each person's motives are clear, it's easier to reach an amicable solution. An experienced mediator will help you understand your assumptions without making decisions for you. You stay in control of the decision-making process. Mediation involves a process of:
  1. evaluating facts and moving away from assumptions
  2. identifying pertinent and important issues for each party
  3. determining potential solutions and alternatives
  4. mutually agreeing on the outcomes
It's a viable alternative to the cumbersome and financial burdensome litigation system in many cases.  

The Code of Virginia Chapter 21.2 regarding Mediation § 8.01‐581.21. defines mediation this way:

"Mediation" means a process in which a mediator facilitates communication between the parties and, without deciding the issues or imposing a solution on the parties, enables them to understand and to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their dispute.