Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation is a process where people who have legal disputes try to resolve those disputes outside of a courtroom. In mediation, the parties have a chance to meet face to face. They talk about the issues that are the most important. They can work out almost any solution that they both agree resolves the case.
Is mediation private?
Mediation is confidential. The parties usually sign a confidentiality agreement before mediation begins. If the parties don’t reach a settlement, it’s as if the mediation never happened.
Does the mediator decide the case?
Unless you agree otherwise, the mediator doesn’t make decisions about the case. The mediator works to help you reach an agreement. The mediator does not express an opinion or takes a side.
If a court orders the mediation, the mediator lets the court know that each party to the lawsuit came to the mediation. There are some cases where the parties in a lawsuit can agree to allow someone outside of the court to make decisions in the case. That’s called binding arbitration.
Should we use a mediator?
It’s common to use mediation in divorce and custody cases. In these cases, parents and divorcing spouses find that they often have more flexibility to fashion an arrangement that meets their unique needs than they might be able to get from a court at a trial. If mediation is successful, it also saves the costs of a trial.
There are some cases where mediation is not appropriate. If there is violence in your relationship, mediation is not right for you. Your Maryland family law attorney can help you decide if mediation is a good choice in your case.
Let us help you
If you have a legal issue or dispute, we invite you to contact our offices. At S.A. Stevenson Law Offices LLC, we offer compassionate and skilled legal services that help you evaluate your case and make decisions that advance your interests. Contact us today by phone or online, so that we can talk about your case.