Mediation is a process where parties voluntarily reach an agreement to resolve their disputes by finding commonality. In contrast to traditional legal conflict resolution where the decision rests in the hands of a judge or jury, mediation emphasizes a self-determining, collaborative problem solving process with a view towards addressing the needs of all of the parties involved. The role of the mediator is to act as a neutral third party who helps to keep the dialogue and conflict resolution process moving forward. An effective mediator can assist the parties in looking at the strong and weak points in their cases in order to make an informed decision in the negotiating process.
Mediation has several benefits:
- It’s less costly. With mediation, you pay for sessions instead of time in court and drafting legal paperwork. A typical friendly divorce mediation can be accomplished in a few sessions. Lengthy divorce battles have led to the financial ruin of many families and businesses.
- Control and certainty. You control the outcome; not a judge or jury. This process is called self-determination and you decide what settlement option, if any, is right for you.
- Personalized confidential attention. Most Judges are overworked and understaffed. They simply don’t have the time to get to know you and your particular needs. On the other hand, the mediator is there for you. The mediator’s role is to understand the nature of your conflict, guide to you to get a consensus on the conflict resolution process, explore and generate options while refining the decision making and final agreement.
- Friendly. Mediation is a non-adversarial, peaceful method of resolving conflict that builds on the positive while finding common ground. The process is designed to take away the stress and worry associated with traditional legal solutions. While emotions may run high and there may be hurt feelings, mediation can assist parties to find a win-win solution.
- Quick. The legal process can drag on for years before there is ever a resolution. A mediated settlement can be accomplished as quickly as the parties are willing to agree on a solution. This eliminates the length of time that issues are left lingering, pending and unresolved.
- Opportunity for creative, custom tailored plans. Mediation gives the parties the flexibility to craft their own agreement rather than having a plan imposed by a judge or jury. So long as the parties are willing to agree, they can craft what works best for them. This is especially important to divorcing families because it can lead to more effective co-parenting and post-divorce stability for the children.