Mediation is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as “an attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement or compromise between disputants through the objective intervention of a neutral party.”
People choose mediation over traditional litigation, because mediation:
- is generally less expensive
- allows people to stay in control of their agreement
- minimizes hostility rather than magnifies it
Mediation is a good option for people who do not want to spend a lot of money on legal fees, because client have control over how much money they spend on their professional guidance. In the traditional adversarial system, once a client’s situation becomes hostile, legal fees are generally dictated by circumstances and the client’s attorney.
Mediation is also a good option for people who will continue to have a relationship after the dispute is resolved, like in the case of divorce and people have children together. The traditional adversarial system inevitably leads to frustration and hostility between people that can spoil a future relationship, co-parenting or otherwise. And maintaining future a relationship is important as studies show that children do not have more difficult lives if their parents are divorced-they have more difficult lives if their parents do not get along well.
Commonly, mediation sessions are one neutral mediator working with both parties all in the room at the same time. However, there are different structures of mediation sessions people can chose from to best meet their needs.