Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which is used instead of going to court. An appointed mediator and all parties of the dispute sit together in a bid to come to an agreement that all parties are happy with. This process can be used for many different types of claim, including family law, civil law, and small claims and the costs of mediation, which are often considerably lower than the cost of the claim and counter-claim and lower than the cost of court action, are among the major benefits perceived by users. The speed of the process and the convenience of not having to attend court are among the other benefits.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a technique that is used to resolve disputes between two or more parties. Rather than handing the decision over to the court, mediation enables the parties concerned to regulate their own case and determine the outcome themselves. Because they retain control of the process, many people prefer this to court action.
Types Of Mediation
Mediation can be used in a variety of different cases. It is often used in family law cases but may also be used for business cases, small claims, and civil law cases too. If a decision cannot be reached by all parties then it will still refer to court for a final decision.
Family – Family law cases are very personal and can be fraught with emotion. However, a court case is not usually the best solution if another solution can be found instead. A mediator will sit and listen to both parties and discuss the options while attempting to help come to an amicable solution. If children are involved then it is especially important that both parties are still able to communicate with one another and mediation can help this occur.
Civil – Civil cases may include housing and benefit cases, work disputes, and professional disputes between two companies or between a company and its clients. Civil cases can vary greatly, as too can the amount being claimed and counter-claimed. Mediation is often seen as a simpler, less expensive, and less stressful alternative to going to court.
Small Claims – A small claim is one for a financial value of £5,000 or less and individuals or businesses may claim against other individuals or against professional organisations. Mediation is considerably quicker than waiting for a court case to settle and the agreement can prove favourable for both parties.
The actual cost associated with mediation will usually run to hundreds of pounds, unless you are entitled to legal aid in which case it will usually be free. However, this is typically a lot less expensive than going to court or relying on other forms of dispute resolution. The actual amount will depend on the size of the claim and any counter-claim that is also being lodged. Other benefits include the speed of the process, the ease and convenience with which a mutually beneficial decision can be arranged, and keeping what should be a private affair out of the courts making it easier on the parties that are directly involved as well as on any other parties that may be affected by the decision.
Mediation is viewed by the courts and the government as being a favourable route compared to going to court. It can be used by any individual or company in certain circumstances and, f given the choice, you should consider mediation for the numerous benefits that it offers when compared to the costs, headache, and potential fallout of taking your case to the courts and allowing them to make a final decision.