Looking for an informal yet confidential way to resolve a dispute? Rather than rely on an attorney with expensive fees, you can use mediation to resolve disputes in most cases. Mediation works well for matters that do not involve a criminal charge. If your neighbor has landscaping that is affecting your property value, you have a dispute with your landlord, or you want to make a child custody plan with the minimum amount of disruption to all family members involved, mediation can be a great way to come to a solution.
Understand the Mediation Process
When both parties involved in the dispute agree to mediation, they agree to have their discussion facilitated by a professional mediator that is trained to help clients come to a mutual agreement as expediently as possible. Quite often, mediators are licensed social workers. Case Western Reserve University states that social workers are increasingly using technology and social media to connect with and work with clients conveniently.
At the first mediation meeting, the mediator will explain the ground rules to both clients and hear both sides of the disputes through client statements. One of the ways a mediator ascertains the elements of the conflict is by meeting privately with each party and asking questions. After the conflict is understood, the negotiation process begins. Once a solution is reached, the mediator will require each client to sign an agreement document that is binding.
Be Involved in the Outcome
The mediation process can offer you some distinct advantages over filing a lawsuit and pursuing a court case. Mediation allows you to communicate directly with the other party in the dispute instead of having to indirectly communicate through a lawyer. When a dispute is being mediated, each of the parties involved agrees on the outcome of the mediation instead of a lawyer or a trial jury determining the result. According to ACU, one of the primary tasks of a mediator is to facilitate a decision that both sides of the dispute are happy with.
Save Time and Money
Because of the direct communication between each party and no lawyer fees and court dates, mediation costs less than a lawsuit. Mediation also takes much less time to come to a conclusion than a case that goes through the court process. A disagreement can usually be resolved by mediation within a couple of meetings lasting a few hours. Court cases can drag on for months.
Confidentiality is another reason why you may want to choose mediation to solve your dispute. A lawsuit that goes to trial is a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone. Mediation differs from a court case in that whatever is said during a mediation process is confidential. In addition, what is said during mediation is not able to be used in any future lawsuit.
In the mediation process, those involved are not strong-armed into accepting a negotiation that they have reservations about. The mediator works to keep the lines of communication open so that both parties can come to a quick and confidential solution