By: Melissa H. Doss
Mediation is a structured, interactive process where an impartial third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. In layman’s terms, a mediator tries to resolve the outstanding issues to help parties stay out of court.
I am a huge proponent of meditation and after understanding the process, I bet you will be to. So, why mediation? Let’s talk pros of mediation:
1- You can be creative with solutions to issues. When you leave the decision up to the judge, your sense of control and creativity goes out window.
2- You will leave the mediation “happier” than you would when you leave the courtroom. I hear so often parties want their day in court, however, even if the judge rules in your favor, you are often still left unhappy. Having your day in court can take years, thousands of dollars and unnecessary stress. Even if you “win” in court, you still spent time, energy and a lot of money in order to get there.
3- Technology allows you to attend a mediation from the comfort of your own home if you are high risk and in need of this. This is not only convenient but allows your case not to be further held up with the back log from Covid 19.
4- You can save thousands of dollars if you choose to mediate vs. filing motion after motion and attending hearings. Yes, mediation comes with a fee, but the fee is generally split and is entirely cheaper than paying your attorney to prepare and attend a hearing or trial on your behalf.
5- If you reach an agreement on your issues during mediation, the mediator or your attorney will execute an agreement. Once an agreement is reached, signed and filed with the court, there is no need to step foot into the courtroom. Not only does not needing to testify cut down on anxiety, moreover, with the back log of cases the court hears, it also greatly reduces the time needed to resolve the issue. It can take months to get on a Judge’s calendar and even longer to allow him or her time to render a decision. Court is not a fast process!
If you are considering mediation as a way to resolve outstanding conflict, I highly recommend giving the process a chance.