Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute with the assistance of a specially trained neutral third party. The independent party assists the separating parties through an interest-based process. They manage effective communications and help the parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Our senior divorce lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in mediation and have provided insight into the process.
It’s important to note that mediation can either be lawyer assisted or attended only by the parties to the dispute. In the event mediation is successful, parties enter into a legal contract outlining the terms of their settlement. If the mediation does not result in an agreement, either party is free to pursue other actions.
Who Attends Mediation?
A typical divorce mediation will involve the mediator, the disputing parties, and their lawyers. The mediator plays a significant role in creating an atmosphere of open and honest communication. They do this by maintaining the integrity of the conversations, dealing with power imbalances and monitoring the pace and content of each discussion. Its the responsibly of the mediator to help provide options to the parties and assist with the negotiation of a final solution. The parties roles are to stay focused on their goals and desired outcomes while listening to the others point of view. This will ensure the mediation stays on track and does not turn into a deadlock debate.
What Are The Benefits Of Mediation as a Dispute Resolution Option?
The benefits of mediation are abundant. It gives parties the ability to reach a custom solution as opposed to having a binding decision imposed by the court. Parties have complete control over the situation as there is no agreement without each party saying â€œyesâ€ to the terms. The informal environment mitigates the adversarial nature of litigation and replaces it, to an extent with a problem-solving atmosphere. Additionally, mediation is more affordable than litigation and far less time consuming. Typically, a mediated settlement is reached somewhere between three weeks and three months. This fast resolution reduces conflict and stress for both parties.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Mediation as a Dispute Resolution Option?
While there are many advantageous to mediation, there are also some drawbacks to this form of dispute resolution. To begin, mediation is a process that requires both parties be committed to the process. If one party refuses to take part, it is not possible to continue with mediation. Additionally, unlike Court Orders and Arbitration Awards, mediated settlements are not automatically enforceable. The parties must convert their terms of settlement into a Contract or Court Order. Finally, it is possible for parties to proceed through the mediation process and never reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Thus, the parties must commence resolution through other means.
If you are thinking about separation or divorce and want to learn more about mediation, our senior counsel provide a complimentary 30-minute consultation and will be happy to walk you through the process. Please visit our mediation website to learn more and book your initial consultation today.