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Why is everyone talking about mediation?
The chances are you know someone who's tried mediation, whether to settle divorce proceedings, find a solution to a business-related dispute, or to resolve a not-so-neighborly conflict. So why are so many people turning to mediation? There must be more to it than a simple reluctance to avoid courtroom drama?
For anyone staring down the barrel of a lawsuit, the potential cost is the biggest concern. You know that the whole process is horrifically expensive and because it's impossible to predict how long everything will take, it's equally impossible to gauge just how much of your savings it will eat up.
Mediation is a quicker process, with less time spent on "behind the scenes" activity like filing motions and investigative work so it's far easier to reign in the overall spend than it is with traditional litigation.
Some people can wait up to a year for an initial court date and the potential for appeals means that your case can be drawn out over several years. Mediation, however, can be over within a matter of months, sometimes less depending on the nature of the disagreement. Of course a quicker resolution reduces costs but perhaps more importantly it significantly reduces stress for all parties, allowing everyone to get on with their lives.
It gives you greater participation in reaching a solution.
During the mediation process, the ball is very much in the participants' court. Any professionals involved, whether attorneys or mediation specialists, are there to assist not control.
It gives you control over the outcome.
Just as you control the negotiations so you control the result. Unlike traditional litigation where the lawyers, and ultimately the presiding judge, have the final word on the outcome, with mediation decisions must be reached — and agreed upon — by the participants themselves.
It's less formal.
Because it's a less formal environment than a courtroom, mediators can reach beyond strictly legal issues to help resolve the more emotional and psychological elements of a dispute.
It's more flexible.
Courtrooms are built upon rules and procedures. Things must be done in a certain way at a certain time with no deviation. Mediation is more flexible and allows the parties to work in a way that suits them, affording everyone greater comfort and control.
We've all been stopped in our tracks at one point or another by "juicy" headlines emerging from high-profile court cases. But even those involved in less newsworthy court cases risk having their private lives made public when they file a lawsuit. In contrast, mediation is a private process where information, recriminations, and allegations remain in the mediation room.
When conflicts arise it's natural to feel as if events are spinning out of your control as you hand your cash, your private life, and your future over to a third party. Mediation allows you to regain control of a horrible situation, helping you reach a conclusion that works for everyone involved. It's no wonder everyone's talking about it.
If you feel that mediation might be the best way to help you resolve a current conflict, I'd love to help. Get in touch now.