Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can allow you to settle legal matters without going to court. Mediation is a process by which two individual sit down with a neutral third party to resolve their matters. The mediator will not decide the matter, but help the parties to communicate better on the road to an effective solution. The mediator will educate the parties about the law, but does not represent either party as a lawyer. Parties who go through mediation often feel they have more control over the issues because they are making the decisions. When people make their own decisions, they are more likely to follow through on the outcome. Mediation allows parties to deal with issues that cannot be properly resolved through the court system, such as child custody, pet custody and division of family heirlooms.
Mediation can be useful in a variety of cases including property distribution, child custody, support, alimony, cohabitation, estate disputes and family settlement agreements.
Collaboration is an alternative dispute resolution where the parties agree to never enter the court system. The parties have four-way meetings to review various aspects of family law or estate law cases and resolve them amicably. You have more control over your case and the outcome if you choose collaborative law.