Mediation is a confidential and voluntary dispute resolution process that involves an impartial third party — the mediator — who helps the disputing parties reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. Potential benefits to the use of mediation include its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and emphasis on preserving relationships.
Many choose mediation because it allows a greater level of control over the outcome. In mediation, the parties retain the power to decide the terms of their agreement. In traditional litigation, the courts have this control. Mediation also allows for a greater level of confidentiality as, unlike court proceedings, mediation discussions are private. This can prove advantageous for many types of legal issues, particularly those involving family and business disputes.
Use of mediation to resolve family disputes
In the realm of family law, mediation can serve as a valuable tool for resolving conflicts while honoring emotional sensitivities. Examples include:
- Custody and visitation: Mediators assist parents in crafting parenting plans that focus on the child’s best interests, away from the adversarial court setting.
- Divorce settlements: Couples can negotiate the division of assets and debts as well as other pertinent issues, often achieving more tailored outcomes than those imposed by a court.
This process is helpful for parents who are looking to remain actively involved in their child’s upbringing as the parents are working together to craft the plan. It is also helpful for business owners going through divorce as the particulars of the business finances are more likely to remain private.
Mediation and business disputes
Business conflicts can have a significant impact on operations and relationships. Mediation can help by:
- Resolving partnership disagreements: Mediators facilitate discussions around roles, responsibilities, and business direction, aiming for consensus.
- Addressing contract disputes: Parties can negotiate solutions to breaches or misunderstandings without the public scrutiny of a court case.
Although mediation is often helpful in family law and business disputes, it can also provide a alternative to litigation for personal injury and other cases.