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CSS offers many types of mediation services that utilize the facilitative method. See below for answers to common questions. 

Questions & Answers

How long does mediation take?

The answer to this question depends on the type of conflict and the number of parties involved. A simple dispute usually consists of one to two three-hour mediation sessions. While more complex disputes can require a few more sessions. In general, mediations sessions are  3 hours, half-day, and full-day. 

How much does mediation cost?

That depends, again, on the type of conflict and the number of parties involved, type of session needed, mediation preparation time, mediation location, and mediator travel time. The CSS standard rates are $150 hourly, $650 for half-day, and $1300 for full-day. 

CSS requires an upfront retainer fee to begin service. The retainer must have a portion paid by each party to ensure commitment to the process. Each party will agree upon the amount paid. The retainer is deducted from the final bill of completed service.

Are there any other fees or costs?

Cancelation & Rescheduling fee CSS has a cancellation or rescheduling fee of $50 if notification is received at an agreed-upon time.  Only the canceling or rescheduling party is responsible for this fee (plus incurred costs) unless both parties agree to the change, in which case the cost will be split. 


Location Fee CSS uses different locations to suit customer needs, including online mediation, informal and formal options depending on the type of conflict and the number of parties involved. Parties will be informed of this cost once a location is determined. This fee is not included in the retainer. 


Travel Fee CSS charges for transportation costs of the mediator if the location of an in-person mediation takes place more than 80 miles from Providence, Rhode Island. This fee includes mileage (federal rate) over 80 miles and overnight expenses. This fee is not included in the retainer.

Does CSS offer cost reduction assistance?

CSS also offers assistance with reduced pricing for those who meet specific income eligibility, such as SNAP recipients, free & reduced lunch, state Medicaid programs, and housing assistance.  The reduced pricing is determined on a case-by-case basis of circumstances. CSS also provided military and veteran discounts of 20%. 

What if a mediation needs more time than expected?

Sometimes a conflict is more complicated than expected, or the parties need more time to reach an agreement. CSS will discuss their needs for future sessions with the clients, and the pricing will reflect previously established costs.


Who pays for the mediation?

In most scenarios, the cost is split between the parties in conflict. However, there are times when a party initiating the mediation will cover most of the amount. CSS requires that each party contribute to fees in some portion to ensure commitment. 

Why is mediation voluntary?

It is important to remember that mediation is a voluntary process; no one can be compelled to participate. However, the voluntary nature of this conflict resolution practice is why there is so much success. When parties decide to resolve a dispute, they are empowered to create solutions that work for both parties. 

How do I get the other party to mediate? 

Sometimes all parties in a conflict reach out to a mediator to request the service or a party asks the other party to try mediation. If a requesting party prefers, they can ask CSS to contact the other party and to see if they are interested in trying mediation.

Is mediation accessible?

YES! All mediations should be made accessible to anyone seeking this service. CSS will work with parties to understand their needs, help find or provide accommodations, and take steps to ensure equal access. CSS also provides training services to other conflict resolution practitioners on ensuring their practice is accessible.

What type of mediation model does CSS use?

In most cases, CSS uses a facilitative approach to mediation. There are some special circumstances such as ADA disputes that may need a combination of evaluative and facilitative. Check out this article for a more detailed description. 

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