Litigating a civil matter can be a complicated affair, not to mention an expensive, time consuming, and emotional one. However, litigation isn’t always your only option, and other methods of dispute resolution are often encouraged. One such method that may be beneficial to you is mediation.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is the process of resolving a dispute with the help and guidance of a neutral, third-party mediator. Mediators can be counselors, trained mediators, church officials, and lawyers (although unofficial mediators, such as family members or friends, can also serve as mediators in some cases). The job of the mediator is not to side with either party or instruct either party about what to say, but to direct the conversation in a positive manner to reach a productive resolution.The goal of mediation is to resolve a conflict, reach a settlement, and avoid litigation.
Can I Bring My Lawyer to My Mediation?
Whether or not you choose to bring your lawyer to your mediation is completely up to you. In all cases, though, you should make sure that any settlement you reach is reviewed by an attorney prior to being signed.
What Types of Cases Are Mediated?
At the law offices of The Upton Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys and mediators are familiar with many different cases types. These include:
- Divorce: If you are going through a divorce, mediation can be a positive way to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding contentious issues, such as how property will be divided.
- Family law matters. Divorce is not the only family law matter than couples and families encounter. Issues ranging from domestic violence cases to adoption to separation, and more can possibly be resolved in this way.
- Civil matters. There is a wide range of civil matters that could be resolved without litigation. For example, personal injury suits, real estate disagreements, and veterans’ claim (amongst other things).
The Difference Between Collaborative Divorce and Mediation
Many clients ask us what the difference is between collaborative divorce and mediation, as the two terms are often used interchangeably. While both processes share similarities, in collaborative divorce, parties agree upfront to not litigate their case, and agree to find new lawyers should the case go to court. This is not true with mediation, and when mediation attempts fail, litigation is an open possibility.
Mediating a family or other civil law case rather than taking the case to court has a multitude of benefits. These include:
- More decision-making power remains in your hands. One of the biggest advantages to your civil matter rather than filing a lawsuit is that more of the decision-making power regarding the outcome of your case will remain in your hands. On the contrary, if you ask a judge to settle your case, your judge will decide your case and controlling the outcome will be out of your hands.
- Cost effectiveness. Mediation is a much more affordable alternative than is litigation. Not only do lawyers’ fees get expensive when you go to court, but you will also have to pay court fees as well.
- Speed. If you want to resolve your case as quickly as possible and move forward with your life, you should consider this way. Litigation can take months; mediation can resolve a case as soon as you and the other party can reach an agreement.
- Less stress. No matter the type of civil matter that you’re facing, going to court can be a very stressful process, and may even force you to relive some of the trauma of the original matter that resulted in the civil suit. When you mediate a case, you get straight to the task of finding a solution with an open mind, and agree to really hear what the other party is saying and work together to reach a solution. This means that you may walk away feeling more peaceful, and without a chip on your shoulder.
What Types of Cases Should Be Mediated?
Our lawyers strongly believe that nearly all case types can benefit from mediation, but there are some cases where mediation may be especially important. For example, any cases involving children should be mediated whenever possible, as putting a child in the middle of a civil lawsuit can have emotional and psychological consequences. Further, any case where litigation is likely to take multiple months to resolve and be very costly should also try to be mediated.
Thinking About It
If you are thinking about mediation, it is important that you approach it with the right from of mind, otherwise you’re just wasting time. Therefore, it’s important to be able to:
- Approach the other party with an open mind;
- Be willing to compromise and make concessions on things you want;
- Speak in a manner that is civil and respectful;
- Consider options for resolution that you hadn’t previously thought about;
- Preserve your self-respect by communicating in a manner that is reflective of the best version of yourself; and
- Reach a resolution that all parties can live with.
Call Our Connecticut Attorney to Learn More About Mediation Today
Mediation isn’t for everyone, but it is an effective means of resolving disputes in many cases. If you are thinking about it, our attorneys can provide you with the guidance you need, as well as answers to any questions that you have. To learn more, please call our CT mediation attorneys today at 860-893-0558, or send us an email using the contact form found on our website today. Our office is located in West Hartford, but we serve clients throughout the state.