If you’ve got a legal dispute that you’re trying to resolve, mediation is still one of the most effective ways to reach a resolution. Mediation occurs when the two parties in a dispute meet with an experienced mediator (or attorney) with training in conflict resolution. The experienced mediator will listen to both sides and help bring a resolution to the dispute.
If you’re skeptical about whether mediation can help with your situation, know that there are many benefits of participating in it:
- Money: If you want to spend time in court trying to settle your dispute, you certainly can. But that could take lots of time and money you may not have. Instead, mediation is a less expensive way to bring out a resolution to a problem and might be preferable to going to trial.
- Privacy: Mediation with an experienced mediator is, for some, a preferred way of settling a dispute involving something like bankruptcy, patent law or discrimination or family issues because it offers more privacy. Instead of having to sling mud in court in front of family and friends to settle a dispute, you can meet in a private room to bring about a peaceful resolution to your dispute.
- Convenience: Another benefit of mediation is that it can be done at a time and place that works for both parties, rather than having to shuffle schedules around for court dates.
- Less stress: Depending on what your dispute entails, you or the other party may be uncomfortable having to share the details of the dispute in court (especially if they’re very personal). Rather than putting yourself or the other party throw a public display of stress and anxiety, you can with an experienced mediator in a more private setting.
- Control: When you go to court to settle a dispute, you’re putting the final decision in the hands of a judge or a jury and it may not go in your favor. With a mediator, you and the other party will be able to have some degree of control over the final outcome of your dispute. That doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to go in your favor, but you’ll be able to tell your side of the story help the mediator make their final decision.
- Peace of mind: Whether the final decision works out in your favor or not, studies have shown that parties involved in disputes are satisfied in the long run when a mediator is involved because it usually reduces the hostility between the parties.
- Input: Perhaps one of the best benefits of working with a mediator is that you and the other party can work out agreements that might include things that a judge can’t necessarily mandate. Let’s say for example that you’re involved in a custody battle. You and your ex can work out terms of visitation if there are children in the picture. You can also agree to who’s going to pay for necessary expenses for the children such as college or child support amounts.
- Confidentiality: Once you’re reached a resolution for your dispute, you and the other party can agree to a contract which can be kept private. This stands in contrast to court proceedings, which are usually put into the public record.
Experts say that just about 1% of civil cases typically reach Federal court. Whether you’re trying to settle a federal dispute or a civil case, mediation can help bring about a resolution faster, more privately and with much less hostility.