Resolving disputes through mediation is almost always preferable to going to court. Here’s why.
Time – You will save time through the mediation process. Court can often take months and years before a judgement is delivered whereas mediation takes much less time and is usually less stressful, taking only a fraction of the time to come to a resolution. Instead of putting your life on hold for a number of years waiting for a decision that you may not be completely satisfied with, you could use mediation in a timely manner and move on with your life.
Cost – the cost of going to court and trial can be crippling and ongoing for some time. Legal fees, court and trial fees are only some of the costs involved when going to court. Mediation however, costs much less. You pay only for the mediator and for legal advice in regard to your case.
Empowerment – When you attend mediation the outcome is something you can work towards. You have more power over the decisions made and the result will be an agreement you are most likely able to live and be happy with because you have decided to agree to it. Court however, may mean you are handed a result by the judge that is not something you want or that works for you. Court decisions are imposed on you and give no choice.
Preserve Relationships – Mediation is held somewhere both parties can mutually agree upon and is a much more comfortable setting than court. It is much less formal and the protocols of court are not followed. This can automatically set people at ease and assist in opening up pathways to more effective communication. The ability to hear the other side or perspectives then make it easier to result in better understanding and an agreement that both parties have resolved than proving the past, the ‘he said’, ‘she said’ of a court hearing, which builds even higher walls between the parties, reduces communication and lays blame. Court damages relationships permanently.
Confidential – In some cases, confidentiality is highly important for both parties and mediation provides that. A court hearing, however is open to the public, unless the court orders otherwise. And case documents are kept and can be accessed by anyone interested in the case. Affidavits can fall in the wrong hands. On the other hand, mediation offers privacy and permission must be sought from the parties involved for any information from the sessions to be revealed. This promotes trust in the mediation process and assists in collaboration towards a positive and mutually agreed upon outcome without public consequences for anyone.
Mediation is, in the majority of cases, a much preferred method of solving disputes than court due to the savings involved. Mediation saves you time and money, is less stressful, more confidential and provides a way to resolve an issue in a more mutually understanding environment with a third party present to assist in moving the dispute forward in a positive manner.