Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that can be used for both personal and business matters. It offers a way for two or more parties in dispute to agree a mutually satisfactory solution that allows everyone to move on. Mediation provides a way for you to avoid going to court wherever possible and is perhaps most commonly used for couples getting divorced or ending a civil partnership.
The process of mediation involves the various parties in dispute sitting down with a specially trained mediator who will guide the parties towards negotiating a mutually acceptable agreement for how to resolve their issues. Mediators are normally trained specialists in Collaborative Law, meaning they have a high level of expertise and experience in helping people to find solutions to their legal disputes that do not involve going through the courts.
Mediation offers a number of important benefits that make it a highly attractive way to resolve disputes wherever possible.
A faster way to resolve disputes
Mediation can often be much faster than resolving disputes through the courts. It can be used early in a dispute, meaning less time passes before you start trying to find a solution, and it allows you to avoid having your case held up while you wait for court dates. The actual process itself can also be quick, with three to five sessions often enough to resolve many disputes.
It usually costs less than going to court
While you may have to pay a fee for mediation, you can normally significantly cut the amount of solicitors’ fees, court fees and other costs you will need to pay, relative to going to court. Because the process tends to be faster that going through the courts, this also reduces how much of a professional’s time you have to pay for.
You keep control of the process
Mediation allows you to keep more control over the way your dispute is resolved. This is because you remain involved in negotiating the agreement, as opposed to in court, where the final decision will belong to a judge.
Find alternative solutions
An experienced mediator is highly likely to have come across numerous situations similar to yours before. This means they will have a broad knowledge of the range of possible solutions, some of which might never occur to the average person with no experience of dealing with such matters. Mediation can, therefore, often result in solutions being suggested that you would never have come up with by yourself, but which provide a mutually acceptable outcome, even where this might have seemed highly unlikely to the disputing parties.
Keep your legal affairs private
When you go to court your private business becomes public, meaning everyone can potentially find out the details of your dispute. Mediation allows you to keep your issues private, allowing you to resolve the situation confidentially, which can save you embarrassment and protect your reputation.
Reduce your stress
Many people find the process of going to court highly stressful and upsetting. Mediation offers an alternative approach, which can be much less pressured and adversarial, helping to make the situation significantly less stressful and easier to cope with.
A less risky approach
Once you go to court, the decision about the final outcome is taken out of your hands and you risk ending up with a resolution you find difficult to live with. Because mediation allows you to maintain more control, it means you don’t have to agree to anything you can’t live with and gives you the chance to reach a more acceptable compromise.
Maintain a positive relationship with the other party
One of the key advantages of mediation is that it generally allows disputes to be resolved more harmoniously. This is because the entire process is designed to be less adversarial, with the focus being on getting the involved parties to work together to find a solution everyone can accept. With mediation, there is less chance of your relationship being further damaged and it can, in fact, help to repair frayed relationships. This is especially important for couples that are separating who have children together, and for businesses where it is advantageous for the parties to continue to be able to work together in future.
How to access professional mediation services
When seeking someone to provide mediation, you should look for a professional, specialist mediator. This will normally mean they have training in Collaborative Law and are a member of Resolution, which is an organisation of family lawyers and other professionals committed to constructive, non-confrontational ways of dealing with family law matters.
At Crisp & Co, a number of our family law team members are specialist mediators, trained in Collaborative Law, and members of Resolution. This includes our Senior Partner Henry Crisp. We are dedicated to helping people resolve their legal issues quickly, cost-effectively and with the minimum stress, upset and disruption to their lives.
However, we also understand that mediation does not always produce an acceptable outcome and is not always appropriate. Where this is the case, we have the knowledge and experience to represent you in court to help you achieve the best possible result for your interests.
To find out more, call us today on 020 3797 4952 or get in touch using the enquiry form below.