What is Mediation?

According to statistics, 80% of cases that come through Mediation are resolved. What is Mediation and how does it work? Mediation is a voluntary process by which two people come together to try to work out their differences with a neutral third person. Differences could mean, conflict, disagreement or dispute. The neutral person is known as the Mediator.

Mediation is very effective in resolving disputes for a number of reasons.
It affords people an alternative to litigation for the following reasons;

1. It saves time and money

Many litigants are unable to afford the costs associated with Attorney fees. Mediation is a good means or process to spend less money and still have your case heard. Litigation also can take weeks, months and even years to finish whereas in Mediation, you spend less amount of time because you, not the Mediator, are in control of the Mediation process.

2. Happy people

Parties in Mediation are happier and more satisfied with their decision or settlement because they had an input in the decision making. With Litigation or Arbitration, parties are bound by the Judge’s decision or Arbitrators decision.

3. Preserves relationships

When parties are in a conflict, it can sometimes lead to a misunderstanding and going of separate ways. Mediation helps to bring out the underlying issues in a conflict or dispute, thereby bringing an understanding between or among disputing parties. This understanding creates a continuing relationship among parties which also allows for teamwork.

4. Privacy

Matters taken to and settled in court become public record however matters taken to and settled in Mediation are kept private. Only the Mediated Settlement Agreement is made public. Documents produced during Mediation are returned to parties.

5. Flexibility

Mediation affords disputing parties flexibility in choosing their Mediator, location, date and time to Mediate. Parties can reach a temporary agreement then come back after a couple weeks or months to finalize the agreement. The schedule of matters taken to court however are decided by the court.

6. Greater degree of control

Parties who negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome. This produces a mutual satisfaction with the agreement reached.

7. Higher rate of compliance

Parties who negotiate their own agreements are more likely to follow through and comply with the terms of their agreement. This is more likely than if their agreement was imposed by a third party.

8. Agreements that last over time

Mediated Settlements tend to hold up over time. If a conflict arises later, parties are more likely to utilize a cooperative form of problem solving to resolve their differences instead of pursuing an adversarial approach.

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