The primary goal of mediation is to secure favorable outcomes wherein parties settle their differences outside of the court room by their own final choice, privately and confidentially, assisted by their respective attorneys.
Successful mediation hinges in part on the abilities of the attorneys to negotiate on their clients’ behalf and to be impartial mediators. The process and its success also mean saving on costs for clients who can avoid litigation, or when litigation is not avoided at least a smaller set of issues are brought forth for determination by the court.
The mediators’ job is to be impartial and practical in facilitating the expression of their clients’ wishes in an open and neutral setting. The end goal is always common ground and a settlement of most, if not all of the outstanding differences between the two parties.
Agreements established in mediation are binding and take effect immediately. An outline of agreements made is presented to the court in a process called a “prove up.” This outline is then drafted out in a final, detailed order by one of the attorneys.
If your case is not and uncontested one, mediation might be the best route for you to address differences outside of the court room. It can save money and damage to relationships in the long term. Contact our firm for more information and availability for mediation.
Unlike mediation, arbitration uses external, neutral persons to assist in the settlement of disputes. The outcome of arbitration is an “award” made in writing by the neutral party.
The arbitrator takes the reigns on the decision making, unlike mediation where the parties involved settle only by their approval and the mediator has no power to decide for them. The process of arbitration is therefore more formal and involves evidentiary hearings as opposed to joint and private meetings characteristic of mediation. Arbitration is more expensive than mediation, but less expensive than litigation.
If you are interested in alternatives to litigation in settling your family law disputes, contact our firm today for a consultation.