A cheaper, less tumultuous way to resolve disputes
Mediation is an increasingly used method of resolving disputes between two or more parties, and can be seen in part as a reaction against the greater influence of US style litigation in the UK. It is an option that is viewed as better value for money as well as being less acrimonious than court action. The option of mediation can apply to many areas such as the workplace, the family and business. The mediator assists the two sides in negotiating their own settlement while being completely impartial and holding no authority while being private and confidential.
Mediators employ professional techniques to improve communication between the disputants, and try to aid the parties to find an agreement on the disputed matter, which can then be written up in a document and signed.
There may be no obligation to go to mediation, but in some cases any settlement agreement signed by the parties to a dispute will be binding on them.
The National Audit Office research consistently finds that family disputes satisfied through mediation are less expensive, far quicker and less acrimonious than those that are satisfied through the court system.
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