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Success of Mediation Rising in Michigan Legal System

Tuesday, April, 10, 2018

Mediation has been growing in popularity and there is no exception in the Michigan court system.  More and more people are bypassing the courtroom and using mediation to end financial and legal disputes.

According to those familiar with the mediation programs available in Michigan, the process can be win-win for everyone involved.  This is because it allows people to end disputes faster and it gives everyone more control over the outcome.


The Wayne County Dispute Resolution Center in Michigan plays a major role in helping people work through things.  The center has had a yearly operating budget of up to $600,000, and helps about 3000 people each year deal with disputes.  Though mediation can be used in a wide variety of cases, the center most commonly addressed family law disputes, especially those related to child visitation, and small claims civil cases.


This center is one of 18 similar centers that operate mediation programs that are state-funded.  They were created as part of the state’s Community Dispute Resolution Act of 1988.  They are funded through Michigan’s five percent portion of court civil filing fees.  More than a million dollars was distributed in recent years into the state’s mediation programs.


Programs provided services based on participants’ ability to pay.  Cost typically ranges from $25 to $35 per person, plus the mediation fee that can be as much as $950.  The mediator, who is a neutral and impartial party, has no decision-making power, but oversees the process and ensures participants stay on track and focused on the issue at hand.