People who are in dispute and are considering using mediation as a way to resolve their differences, often want to know what the process offers. While mediation cannot guarantee specific results, there are trends that are characteristic of mediation.
Mediation is the less expensive option when contrasted to the expense of litigation.
In an era when it may take as long as a year to get a court date and longer if a case is appealed, the mediation route is often a much faster way of resolving disputes. When parties want to get on with their business or their lives, mediation may be desirable
as a means of producing rapid results.
Mutually Satisfactory Outcomes
Parties are generally more comfortable with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon, as opposed to solutions that are imposed by third party decision-makers.
Higher Rate of Compliance
Parties who have reached their own agreements through mediation are generally more likely to comply with the terms than those whose resolution has been imposed by third party decision-makers.
Comprehensive and Customised Agreements
Mediated settlements are able to address both legal and extra-legal issues. Mediated agreements can cover procedural and psychological issues that are not necessarily susceptible to legal determination. Parties can tailor their settlement to their particular situation.
Greater Degree of Control and Predictability of Outcome
Parties who negotiate their own settlements have far more control over the outcome of their dispute. Gains and losses are more predictable in a mediated settlement than they would be if a case is arbitrated or adjudicated.
People who negotiate their own settlements often feel more powerful than those who use surrogate advocates, such as lawyers, to represent them.
Preservation of an Ongoing Relationship or Termination of a Relationship in a More Amicable Way
Many disputes occur in the context of relationships that may need to continue over future years. A mediated settlement that addresses all parties needs can often preserve a working relationship in ways that would not be possible in a win/lose decision-making procedure.
Mediation can also make the termination of a relationship more amicable.
Workable and Implementable Decisions
Parties who mediate their differences are able to attend to the fine details of implementation. Negotiated or mediated agreements can include specially tailored procedures for how the decisions will be carried out.
Decisions that Hold Up Over Time
Mediated settlements do tend to hold up better over time and if a later dispute results, the parties are more likely to utilise a more amicable approach to problem-solving to resolve their differences than to pursue an adversarial approach.
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