Mediation covers a broad range of legal issues, and is usually used to resolve conflicts between individuals. These conflicts can be upsetting and stressful events having a confident professional, and capable mediator provides not only peace of mind but a fair and successful outcome.
The advantages to mediation are that it allows the individual parties to have control over the solution to their legal issues, rather than leaving it in the hands of a judge where outcomes are uncertain. Some of them are affordability, timely resolution, private sessions, confidentiality, participation in the resolution of the dispute, and in many cases preservation of the interrelationship between the parties. Mediation involves compromise, but in many cases can be a better and less-expensive alternative than personal issues being fought out through the court process.
Mediation can be conducted in cases where no court action has been filed and in cases where a court action has already started. Mediation can occur in cases where people are represented by attorneys and in cases where people do not have attorneys and are representing themselves. In certain counties, mediation may be required in cases involving property division or spousal support before the case can proceed to trial.
Mediation is a procedure in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a trained impartial third person(s) who assists them in reaching a settlement. It may be an informal meeting among the parties or a scheduled settlement conference. The dispute may either be pending in a court or potentially a dispute which may be filed in court.
The mediator is a facilitator who has no power to render a resolution to the conflict. The parties will fashion the solution as the mediator moves through the process. In many jurisdictions the mediator is an attorney but cannot give legal advice while in the role of a mediator. However, the mediator's subject area expertise may be beneficial to the parties in wording and framing the mediated agreement or in circumstances where the parties are open to neutral case evaluation.