Resolving Disputes: Mediation vs. Court Proceedings

It’s common knowledge that resolving a legal dispute in court entails a long-winded and costly process. Arbitration and litigation require a significant amount of time and money, and after all the trouble, the ruling may still turn out to be undesirable in the end.

In addition, the decision is imposed on you by the judge, so failure to meet directives can lead to additional hassle and even potential charges. Thankfully, there’s a more time-efficient and less expensive method of settling disputes.

This method is mediation, a form of negotiation facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator. Below, we will discuss why mediation can be a better option than going to court. But, before we dive into that, let’s first cover how mediation works.

An Introduction to Mediation

When you hire a mediator, this trained individual will not be the one to make decisions like a judge or promote sides of a certain client as a lawyer does. Instead, they manage a discussion between the involved parties to determine the underlying causes of the conflict and consider various solutions that are mutually beneficial.

Mediation is a method that is usually sought after by people involved in business or neighbor disputes. There’s also an area called family or divorce mediation, in which a couple who plans to dissolve their marriage can amicably settle disputes. Whether you’re in┬áLong Island or anywhere in Suffolk County, it would be best to know what regulations apply to your locale.

For divorce mediation, in particular, a mediator helps the two parties reach agreements on issues such as child custody and child support, spousal support, debts and pensions, estate planning, and division of property.

The Advantages of Mediation

mediation process

  • Less time-consuming. While court proceedings are scheduled, mediation can start at any time that’s convenient for you. You can also achieve a resolution within months, unlike in-court cases that may go on for years.
  • Keep private matters private. Confidentiality is another key characteristic of mediation. This is important especially in sensitive matters like family issues and corporate disputes. When problems within a business reach the ears of the public, it can be extremely bad for its brand reputation and affect profitability.
  • Cuts down costs. Most lawyers have soaring consultancy fees and charge by the hour when providing court representation. However, mediation costs are much lower in comparison. In fact, although it’s more common to hire paid professional mediators, you also have the option to seek free mediation services being offered by nonprofits.
  • Casual. Litigation and arbitration can be stuffy and rigid due to the formal procedures involved. However, in mediation, the casual setup promotes cooperation and open participation. Without restrictions on speech formalities, both parties can speak out their mind and engage actively in the discussion.
  • Higher chance of compliance. In mediation, you and the other party are the primary decision-makers, and no court order will be imposed. As the agreement has been set by the involved parties and no force has been made to drive compliance, it’s more likely for both parties to keep their end of the agreement for the long term.

When trying to resolve disagreements, court proceedings may not always be the best way. Explore your options to accomplish better outcomes while saving your financial resources and time.

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