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Three Benefits of Using Mediation to Settle Family Disputes

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Mediation can be an effective alternative to litigation when it comes to settling family disputes. Though it is sometimes unavoidable, litigation is often the least appealing way to resolve issues related to the care of a loved one, child custody, support or a variety of other family matters. The litigation process is extremely time-consuming and often leaves everyone involved feeling as if they have lost. Mediation, on the other hand, allows parties to resolve a dispute with respect and civility. It also puts them in control of the outcome, so they do not feel as if their destiny is in the hands of a judge or jury.

What are some of the most important benefits of using mediation to settle a family dispute?

Mediation is Efficient and Affordable

One of the main reasons disputing family members opt for mediation is because it is logistically better for them. Mediation costs less and takes less time to resolve an issue. In many cases, the only cost associated with mediation is that of the mediator’s fee. Mediation also provides more flexibility, so disputing parties are able to work around their own schedule, as opposed to adhering to the strict scheduling of the court.

Mediation Preserves Relationships

Mediation can be used to settle a variety of disputes, ranging from personal injury to small business to contract issues. In each case, the focus of the mediation session is on communication and resolution. Many believe this focus is at its peak value when it comes to settling family disputes because family disputes bring an additional dynamic to the table: family relationships.

A successful mediator is able to address complicated family issues and facilitate effective communication, even when a situation is complex. In addition to making it easier to reach a resolution, mediation also makes it possible to preserve the relationship at stake. Because mediation approaches the problem-solving process with respect and fairness, it is possible for both sides of a dispute to walk away from the situation feeling satisfied. This is often not the case in traditional litigation. Continuing a relationship in the aftermath of a lengthy court battle is often impossible because parties feel betrayed and punished.

Mediation Offers a Personal Approach

Though it might seem secondary when it comes to settling legal disputes, personal feelings can have a major impact on how a case evolves and is finally settled. Mediation takes personal feelings into account and provides an opportunity for everyone to state his or her case. A successful mediator uses a blend of compassion, empathy, and problem-solving skills to help disputing parties reach a resolution that works for everyone. When it comes to settling family matters, this can mean the difference between irreparable damage and a chance to move forward once the dispute is settled.

If your family is involved in a dispute, we can help. Contact Miller and Steiert, P.C. for more information.

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