What is Mediation?

Mediation is a way of handling conflict in which two or more parties, who have a dispute, agree to meet with an impartial third party to try to resolve their dispute in a way that is agreeable to all. The mediation process is confidential and voluntary.  For answers to additional common questions, please check our our answer page.  If you aren't sure if your case is appropriate for mediation, please feel free to contact us.  

How do we get to mediation?

There are two ways that cases get to mediation with the WCRC.  First is a case ordered to mediate by the Courts.  The second is that all parties agree to come to mediation.  

The WCRC cannot force someone to come to mediation and as a neutral party to the dispute, we cannot call people on your behalf to ask them to come to mediation.  The WCRC has developed some sample language (DOC) that you might use to suggest the dispute come to the WCRC.

What types of disputes can be mediated?


A foreclosure mediation program is now available to assist homeowners facing a mortgage foreclosure action in Winnebago, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Marquette, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Waushara Counties. Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process where you and the lender seeking to foreclose on your home may discuss ways to resolve your foreclosure case, including reinstatement of the loan and possible modification of the loan terms. Visit the foreclosure mediation page to view and/or print the foreclosure mediation program forms for your particular county.

Small Claims

In Winnebago County, all contested small claims cases are sent by the Court to mediation. Parties come on Thursday mornings and can take advantage of having trained mediators available to help them talk to each other and come to an agreement. The agreement is written up in contract form, which includes a default clause in case the agreement falls through, and then their cases can be dismissed.  Visit the small claims mediation page to learn more about this program.

Domestic Problem

"The mediators were so patient. We had a chance to talk about everything that was bothering us and we never felt rushed or judged. I wish we would have taken advantage of this service much sooner, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a conflict or a dispute of any kind."
- Client Testimonial

Our mediators can help people work through disagreements involving family members, friends or roommates by encouraging them to talk about what their choices are and to come to a resolution so all parties can live in peace. Pre-divorce and post-divorce problems can be settled without the expenses of attorneys and/or court hearings.

Restraining Orders

Mediation provides a safe, neutral location for parties to talk through past events and present concerns and, with the help of experienced mediators, work out an agreement that both sides can follow.


Employer/employee conflicts and/or conflicts among co-workers can be mediated at your worksite or here at our office, depending on your needs. Our mediators understand the need for confidentiality in this and all types of mediations. The focus is on clearing the air and making a plan for the future so the parties can work together peacefully and productively.  Additionally, we offer on-site or off-sitetrainings that can improve morale and productivity.

Elder Mediation (Probate)

These disputes usually involve family members and can be more complex. Emotions may run high in these cases and our mediators are experts in helping people voice their concerns and then get beyond them to a satisfactory resolution.

Neighbor Problems

Disputes regarding noise, pets, neighbor relations, parking, etc., sometimes need an impartial third party to hear the issues and help individuals discuss their options for a workable solution. Mediation can provide an end to disputes that have often been on-going for years.

Civil Actions

Beyond small claims, the WCRC has experience in resolving all types of civil cases.  No case is too big or too complex.

Juvenile Disputes

Conflicts between youths, as well as between youths and adults, schools, merchants or the law can be talked through with trained mediators in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. Parents are present at the sessions and the emphasis is on helping young people take responsibility for their actions and for making things right.

How much does mediation cost?

Due to grant funding received from Winnebago County, the WCRC is able to offer free mediation services in certain circumstances.  

  1. The Court orders your case to be mediated by the WCRC (this includes all "Thursday morning" small claims cases; or
  2. The parties agree to mediate at the WCRC and
    1. At least one party lives in Winnebago County; and
    2. At least one party is not represented by an attorney.

If your case meets the above criteria, you will receive 3 hours of mediation services at no charge.  If your case does not meet the above criteria, the WCRC is competitively priced and still represents a significant reduction in cost over traditional litigation.