Along with negotiation and arbitration, mediation is a method of dispute resolution alternative to traditional litigation. Mediation is a process of assisted negotiation involving the use of a neutral third party to help the disputants discuss and resolve issues.
While mediation can be utilized as an alternative to traditional litigation, it is also a common tool for reaching a resolution during the process of traditional litigation. In other words, parties may hire attorneys, file a case with the court, and exchange documentation through the process of formal discovery. But they can then attempt to resolve their issues prior to trial by engaging the help of a mediator.
Mediation can be a practical alternative because it is an informal, consensual, and private process whereby the parties are directly involved in the resolution of their own conflicts. Mediation is especially useful in cases where there will be an on-going relationship between the parties, which is the reason for its increased popularity in resolving family disputes. Mediation is also significantly less expensive than submitting an issue to the Court in an evidentiary trial.
The mediator is there to facilitate the negotiation of a voluntary settlement between the parties. The mediator can help the parties identify and address issues and develop methods to communicate and resolve conflicts in the future. The mediator does not represent either party and is not a therapist for the parties. Additionally, the mediator is not a factfinder or a judge and cannot impose any binding agreements.
Mediation can be voluntarily submitted to by the parties or can be mandated by a judge in family disputes. In addition, mediation can involve the participation of counsel or solely the participation of the two parties.
Please contact our firm to schedule a mediation or to obtain further information about the mediation process in resolving a family dispute.
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