Mediation brings people in conflict together with a neutral third person(s) who assists them in reaching a voluntary agreement. The mediator helps them clarify the issues, consider options, and reach a workable settlement that fits their needs.
Each person is encouraged to tell their own story in their own way. Acknowledging emotions promotes movement towards settlement. Discussing both legal and personal issues can help you develop a new understanding of yourself and the other person.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution can be arranged and conducted within a few days. Court proceedings can last many months, or even years, leaving important issues in a state of uncertainty.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution is a fraction of the cost of legal proceedings.
Maintains greater control with the participants
The responsibility and authority for coming to an agreement remain with the people who have the conflict. The dispute is viewed as a problem to be solved. The mediator doesn’t make the decisions, and you don’t need to “take your chances” in the courtroom. Many individuals prefer making their own choices when there are complex tradeoffs, rather than giving that power to a judge.
Mediation can be a less intimidating process than going to court. Since there are no strict rules of procedure, this flexibility allows the people involved to find the best path to agreement. Mediation can deal with multiple parties and a variety of issues at one time. In family mediation, for example, two children, Mum, Dad and Grandma might be involved. They may need to talk about chores, school performance, curfew, allowances, discipline, and the use of the kitchen.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution is private and confidential. Court proceedings are public.
Helps preserve relationships between parties
Separated parents, supervisors and their employees, business partners, and family members have to continue to deal with each other cooperatively. Going to court can divide people and increase hostility. Mediation looks to the future. It helps end the problem, not the relationship.