Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which people come together to resolve their disputes. The mediator does not take sides, give legal advice, or render a decision. She is in charge of the process, but the parties are in charge of the content and the outcome.
The mediation process is not a substitute for legal services, although it usually significantly reduces your legal costs, nor is it a substitute for therapy. Its main advantage is that you and the other parties remain in control of the resolution and that can make a world of difference in how you move on with your life.
Collaborative, not adversarial
Mediation is a collaborative process that promotes healthy interactions between the parties. Working cooperatively, mediation participants find common ground for creating mutually beneficial agreements.
Empowers all parties
You - not the mediator, judge or arbitrator - determine the outcome.
Reduces hostility and tension
Mediation reduces the hostility, tension and misunderstandings that are ordinarily experienced when people are engaged in conflict.
Parties learn how to communicate with each other about difficult, sensitive issues in a non-threatening and non-accusatory manner. Their improved communication skills set a pattern for future interaction and problem solving.
Mediation sessions are held in a private office or conference room. There is no public docket, so no one else needs to learn about your personal issues.
Flexible and creative
Working together, mediation participants craft creative solutions to their conflicts. It's much more satisfying than 50-50 compromises or court-imposed remedies.
Parties set their own pace
Parties can arrange their mediation sessions according to personal scheduling needs and emotional and logistical requirements for pacing and time frame.
Preserves and mends relationships
When the relationship between the parties will be continuing, mediation reduces the likelihood of estrangement and may even help parties move beyond the conflict and reestablish their relationships with greater understanding and empathy.
More affordable and time-saving
When compared to traditional litigation and other adversarial processes, mediation will help you save time and money. Resolutions can be achieved within hours or weeks, rather than months or years. There are far fewer expenses and most of them can be shared.
Produces more satisfying outcomes
Research shows that the majority of people who mediate rather than go to court are satisfied with the process as well as the outcomes. Mediated agreements have a higher rate of compliance than litigated settlements and court orders.