Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party attempts to assist the opposing two parties in resolving conflict. The process is confidential, and anything said during the mediation can be used later in court, neither by a disability lawyer, judge, nor any party involved. The purpose of a mediator is to use communication and negotiation techniques to help the parties reach an agreement. It is important to note that a mediator cannot make decisions on your behalf or impose a settlement. They are strictly there to lead the negotiation process.
A mediation should only be scheduled once you are certain of your objectives and have been unable to reach an agreement with the other party. It is an attempt to settle the matter prior to trial. Both parties should be flexible and willing to listen to the opposing side.
Mediations differ from trials in multiple ways. Unlike in a trial where an outcome will be reached and enforced by a judge, if a party is unsatisfied during mediation, they are not obligated to agree to anything.
During the mediation, you and your lawyer will likely be placed in one room while the opposing party and their counsel will be placed in another. The mediator will go in between the rooms presenting the offers of each party. During the process, you will have the right to consult with your lawyer and benefit from their expertise. Prior to the mediation date, you will have a meeting with your lawyer, who will prepare you for the process and answer your questions.
There are many benefits to scheduling a mediation, particularly for family-related matters. It is usually a recommended process for parties who have an ongoing relationship that matters, such as parties with children. Mediations are private, less formal, and cheaper than trials and provide much more room for negotiations. The outcome is flexible, and the parties can come to an autonomous resolution without the interference of judges and courts. It is an opportunity to go back and forth with the opposing party, and if successful, a settlement will be reached before trial.