There are so many benefits to mediation:
It’s Effective – More than 75% of mediations result in long-term resolutions with mutual satisfaction and a high rate of compliance. Because both parties are actively involved, they have a higher commitment to upholding the settlement than people who have a judge decide for them.
It’s Quick: Mediation is a more efficient and speedier means of resolving disputes than litigation. Years may pass before a case comes to trial, while a mediated agreement may be obtained in a couple of hours or in sessions over a few weeks.
It’s Empowering: The responsibility and authority for coming to an agreement remain with the people who have the conflict. Mediation allows people and organizations to develop mutual solutions, meeting their specific needs, interests and values as well as protecting their rights.
It’s Inexpensive – Litigation and lawyers’ fees are expensive and costs can often exceed benefits. Mediation services are almost always far less.
It’s Convenient, Informal, and Flexible – Unlike a court date, mediation sessions can be scheduled at a mutually convenient time and location to accommodate participants’ schedules. Unlike court, there are no strict rules of procedure, and this flexibility allows the people involved to find the best path to agreement. Mediation can deliver creative, flexible outcomes that go beyond those that can be delivered by a judge. Mediation can also deal with multiple parties and a variety of issues at one time.
It’s Confidential – Unlike most court cases, which are matters of public record, statements made during the mediation and documents prepared for the mediation are not admissible in any legal proceeding without the written consent of all parties.
It’s about relationships and communication, not about ‘positions’ – in mediation there is often an opportunity to preserve or even strengthen business or family relationships that could otherwise be at risk of damage as a result of the adversarial nature of the court process. While this is important in a commercial context, it is particularly important in mediations between separating parents.
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time.” – Abraham Lincoln (who saw the benefits of mediation all those years ago!)