What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a trained facilitator assists disputing parties in communicating their issues and exploring possible solutions. The mediator does not render any decision or provide any evaluation of the cases; rather, he or she facilitates the exchange of information and settlement alternatives between parties. Mediation is characterized by a cooperative climate which sets the stage for constructive communication in the future. Accordingly, mediation is used extensively in family disputes, particularly those involving child custody issues, and in business or other cases involving an ongoing relationship.
Mediation is a negotiation with the help of a mediator. Mediators will remain 100 percent neutral because they do not have a personal interest in the outcome of mediation. Mediators are simply there to help you negotiate.
Benefits of Mediation
- Control…Mediation is a win – win situation. The process can be difficult but the outcome is based on both parties looking for an agreeable outcome.
- Confidential. Unlike the potential publicity of court proceedings, everything said at the mediation is entirely confidential to the parties (unless specifically agreed otherwise).
- Voluntary. The disputing parties are there because they want to be there. Any party may withdraw from mediation at any time.
- Convenience. The mediation is arranged at a venue convenient to the parties, who each have their own room as well as a separate room for joint meetings. The Mediator listens to everyone’s view, talks to the parties privately and together, guiding them towards a settlement.
- Reduced Costs. Generally the cost is greatly reduced in comparison with trying to settle the matter through court. Traditional litigation is very expensive and the total cost is highly unpredictable.
- Faster outcome. Because mediation can be used early in a dispute, an agreement can usually be reached quicker than if pursuing through the courts. Usually in a few hours or maybe one or two days.
- Support. Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and supports each party through the process.
- Preservation of Relationships. Whether is may be a business or family dispute, preservation of relationships can be a key benefit of mediation. Mediation helps participants focus on effectively communicating with each other as opposed to attacking each other.