When you need a little help settling a dispute, mediation can be an excellent option to avoid court proceedings.
Bringing another party to court is expensive, time consuming and stressful.
By using a mediator, both parties will be given a neutral ear and the benefit of a private, confidential means of coming to an agreement.
People are allowed to discuss all of their concerns and "feelings". Courts are not the place to discuss future concerns or potential problems. But mediation can address issues that a judge cannot do.
Everyone can be in the same room or the people can be in separate rooms and the mediator can go back and forth.
The people control the amount of time spent at mediation. Most only require a 4-6 hour session. But sometimes the people want to do a series of meetings and go slowly. The people control the mediation process. The mediator acts to facilitate what the people want to do. The people are the ultimate decision-makers - not the mediator.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator writes up a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA) and everyone signs it. Then the people have the option of taking this document to an attorney to draft the paperwork to make it legally enforceable by a judge.
Mediation can be helpful in nearly any situation, from dealing with your siblings regarding your parent's future to divorce to establishing paternity.
The mediator acts as a third party, with the intent of improving communication between the disagreeing parties in order to find a suitable means of settling the dispute.