While you might be tempted to say, “I’ll see you in court!” when you’re in the middle of a heated dispute, there are many reasons to think twice. The criminal justice system can be complicated and bringing a case to court can be an intense financial burden. In many situations, it may be beneficial to have an effective neutral mediator to facilitate discussions and compromise between two parties. If circumstances permit and both parties are willing to sit down together, standard mediation services can save everyone a lot of time, money, and frustration. If you’re trying to determine whether mediation services may be a good option for you or someone you know, here are just a few of the advantages:
- It’s generally faster and less expensive
Mediation is a process that results in a much faster resolution for disputes. When you have to devote less time and resources to a situation, you’ll generally be a lot less stressed — and won’t have to spend as much. In court, you’ll have to pay for lawyers fees, missed wages, miscellaneous fees, and any costs that come out of the final decision. Because court cases can go on for weeks, months, or even years, you’ll be stuck paying those incidental costs for a long time to come. But with mediation services, you’ll both be responsible for paying one neutral mediator (and not much else).
- It’s private
When you go to court, everything that happens is a matter of public record. This can be damaging in cases of divorce, child custody, bankruptcy, fraud, or countless other situations. But with mediation services, everything is handled privately. Both discussions and outcomes are not publicly known. For those who would like to keep their legal issues confidential, this can be a great option.
- You’ll have a say
When you fight out a dispute in court, a judge will make a determination that may ultimately have a significant effect on your future. You’re putting your complete trust in both your lawyer and the judge. Although this may be the only option if one or both parties is not willing to sit down and discuss the situation, if you can compromise, you should. A mediator will not make a final determination of the outcome; he or she simply facilitates discussions. Both parties will come to an agreement together, which means that you will have some control over the outcome. While neither party will get 100% of what he or she wants, it’s much more likely you’ll come up with a compromise you both can live with.