Disagreements within a family can be bitter, and the hurt feelings of a legal dispute may keep parents, children and siblings at odds for years. Mediation is an option that provides a calmer way to resolve such issues.
Not every legal disagreement needs to end up in a courtroom. In mediation, a trained professional works with both parties to reach a joint resolution. This face-to-face interaction tends to be a shorter, less expensive process for everyone involved.
Although going to court is sometimes necessary, formal litigation creates winners and losers. This resolution may be fine if you are rarely going to see the other party. However, spouses, siblings and business partners do not have this option. If you have a dispute with someone in your inner circle, mediation can help you through the process without destroying the relationship.
A mediator is not a psychological counselor. Instead, this legal professional acts as a neutral third party. The mediator will hear the concerns of both parties and help them work together to reach a joint conclusion.
Mediation and families with children
Disputes between spouses or adult children are often layered with heavy emotions. Working with a mediator can diffuse some of the intensity of the situation. For a couple going through a divorce, a mediator can help the parties recognize that custody discussions are not about winning the children but determining what is best for them together.
Mediation is also a positive choice in disputes between adult children about wills, trusts and guardianship. In these situations, the mediator will help everyone focus on the task at hand rather than letting the conversation drift to perceived injuries in the past.
This legal option allows participants to listen and be heard. In an emotionally charged conflict, choosing mediation can be a healthier way to bring a resolution that benefits both parties.