Citizens have rights and states have laws. Throughout history, we’ve looked to juries and judges to enforce them in court. However, court fees can add up and scheduling a hearing drags out the process.
Now, mediation introduces a new way to solve legal issues without going to court.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which a third-party mediator helps two or more parties make negotiations to reach an agreement. Each party is still encouraged to bring an attorney to mediation sessions.
However, it’s much faster and less expensive to have several mediation sessions with a mediator than to schedule proceedings in court. Additionally, the mediator is a non-bias party that will help both parties reach a fair and favorable agreement. A court or jury, on the other hand, will likely default to standard laws to make decisions.
What issues does mediation work for?
It’s very popular to use mediation for processes that involve a lot of decision-making, such as divorce and business deals.
However, mediation could also be used to solve an inheritance issue, reach a settlement with debt collectors or negotiate a personal injury case.
How does mediation work?
Mediation typically consists of several timed sessions. Sessions are typically about two hours long but could vary depending on the complexity of the issue.
The mediator must be non-bias, meaning he or she cannot have any connection to either party involved in the case. The way a mediator is selected is usually based on their knowledge surrounding the issue. For example, a child psychologist may be selected as a mediator to negotiate a child custody agreement. However, the same parties may choose an appraiser to mediate their session on property division.
Once an agreement is reached in mediation, the lawyers will typically write up and file the agreement with the courts. The courts can then approve the agreement to finalize it.
Why is this method better than going to court?
Mediation generally saves money, time and energy. There are fewer fees, agreements are reached faster and the parties involved can work together instead of against each other. This can make the whole process a lot easier and keep involved parties from acting hostile toward one another.
Especially in custody or probate cases, it may be important to keep these relationships civil while still finding a viable legal solution. Learning more about mediation can help you determine whether it is the best route to solve your case.