The Advantages of Mediation
… as a means of resolving family conflict far out-weighs any advantage that may be thought to be gained through taking a matter through the Courts. This article sets out some of the critical advantages of choosing mediation as the preferred route for resolving a dispute.
Advantage: Mediation Is Informal
One of the critical advantages of mediation is that it is a far less formal process than the traditional adversarial litigation route. Essentially, the Mediation process is not bound by traditional legal formalities and the impact of this is that mediation is far less time consuming and far less costly than litigation. Mediation generally takes place in a relaxed and informal environment which can include an online mediation session.
Advantage: The Parties Make the Final Decision
A further advantage of mediation is that it requires the participation of all the parties to the mediation. The process is not a unilateral process where one party takes lead but both parties are involved in the process of achieving resolution of their dispute. Party self-determination and autonomy ensures that parties are better able to come up with their own solutions that will best meet their individual needs, goals, interests, and aspirations, as well as those of the extended family unit. Increased party involvement in the outcome and settlement of the dispute at hand has a direct impact on the likelihood of ongoing future compliance with the terms of the agreement which the parties have themselves devised, as opposed to the agreement terms having been imposed upon them by outside sources. Self-Determination includes the parties’right at any stage of the process to terminate the process and take their matter to Court.
Advantage: Mediation Helps Parties Find Workable Realistic Solutions
All proposals put forward by the parties are assessed from a reality- testing perspective. The outcome of this is that parties ultimately obtain solutions that are not only realistic and workable but also have long-term applicability. Mediation seeks to preserve the parties’ dignity and respect. The focus of the mediation is accordingly on the future workability of the proposals as opposed to a predominant historical assessment of party conduct.
Advantage: Mediation Reduces the Levels of Conflict Between the Parties
Mediation by its very nature serves to reduce conflict so as to avoid exacerbating the hostility and levels of the conflict already existing between disputing parties.
Advantage: Mediation Preserves Family Relations
Mediation offers parties a better chance of preserving delicate family relationships. This Advantage is particularly apparent when distinguishing mediation from litigation in the family context. Litigation can and does irreparably destroy family relationships.