The purpose of mediation is to help two parties resolve their dispute with a mutually acceptable agreement, with the assistance of a neutral mediator. The reason why more and more people prefer to resolve their dispute in mediation, rather than in court, is that mediation offers them three unique benefits: it takes less time and money; the parties have control over their agreement, and they can preserve their relationship.
Less Time and Money
In court, both parties have to spend a considerable amount of time and money to prove to the judge that they are right, and the other party wrong. In mediation, they do not have to prove anything. From the mediator’s perspective, both parties are right. All they have to do is answering one question: How can their dispute be resolved now?
As a result, settling a dispute in mediation is much faster and cheaper than in court. Depending on the complexity of the parties’ dispute, mediation may take only a few hours, days or weeks, and cost up to a few hundreds of dollars. Compare that with litigation, which could take months or years and cost thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars.
Control Over Agreement
In mediation, the parties have total control over their agreement: they decide what is fair and acceptable. In court, they can present their case – through evidence, testimony, witnesses – but they have no control over the judge’s final decision.
Preserving the Parties’ RelationshipImagine a divorce with children, a family business dispute, or a workplace dispute where supervisor and employee are still working together. These are just a few examples of cases in which the parties need not only to resolve their dispute, but also to preserve their future relationship. And this is why they prefer to try and reach a mutually acceptable agreement in mediation, rather than to fight each other in court.