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Basic Information on Mediation

The parties to a dispute can either opt to go to court or opt for mediation, one of the alternative dispute resolution method. Essentially, mediation is a negotiation that is facilitated by an impartial party. The third party involved in mediation will help parties come to a middle ground without imposing his/her decisions or thoughts. The ADR processes can be started by the parties to the dispute or can be compelled by contractual terms, the courts or legislation.

If the disagreeing individuals are incapable of solving their issues amicably, they should get help from a professional mediator. The process of mediation is structured, task-oriented, hands-on and short-term. There has to be a neutral third party in a successful mediation process between parties.The mediator helps resolve the party’s disputes by supervising the bargaining process and the exchange of information. This mediator will help parties with their unrealistic expectations and find common ground. A good mediator will provide the ideal solutions to a disagreement and assist in the process of drafting the agreed settlement.

Mediation is usually a very voluntary procedure, but in some instances the court statutes, rules or orders will come in play. Mediation is a standard procedure in housing courts, small claims courts, neighborhood justice centers, criminal court programs, and family courts. Different from the litigation process, where the neutral third party usually a judge imposes the decision over a matter, parties to the dispute and a mediator will control the process of mediation; deciding where and when mediation will happen, parties present, how the process will be paid for and the way the mediator will interact with parties.

Once the mediation process is over and done with, and an agreement is reached, it is documented or made oral, based on the type of mediation process used.Whether the agreement reached during mediation is binding is dependent on the kind of law in particular jurisdictions, though most of the mediation agreements are deemed enforceable contracts. In some instances, the negotiations ordered by courts will be court judgments. In case the disputing parties do not get the kind of solution they needed during mediation, they can opt to pursue their issues in other forums further.

The process of mediation is usually deemed more inexpensive, prompt as well as procedurally easier than the formal forms of litigation.It enables the parties to the disagreement to focus on their underlying issues that led to the dispute, instead of focusing on narrow legal concerns. Mediation will not major on truth and guilt. Mediation seeks to help parties know the cause of their problem and find a solution instead of finding out who is wrong or right.

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