Legal disputes can arise just about anywhere. Whether it’s between you and other business owners, your employer, your employees or your landlord, you may believe that your only option for resolution is to battle it out as adversaries in court. But today, more people are turning to mediation to resolve their differences outside of the courtroom.

While mediation can’t guarantee specific outcomes – or that you will reach an outcome – it can offer several advantages over taking your dispute to court, including:

It’s a voluntary process

Mediation is a voluntary process that allows two parties to come up with agreements and potentially better settlements than the court imposes. It’s a far more informal and flexible option for dispute resolution that will enable opportunities for mutually beneficial solutions. If parties cannot reach an agreement in mediation, they may still file a lawsuit later on.

It’s private and confidential 

Lawsuits brought to the court are public record. Mediation, however, is entirely private and confidential. Mediation provides a safe environment for both parties to discuss their conflicts with an impartial mediator, who helps guide them towards mutual resolutions.

It’s timely and convenient

Generally, mediation helps parties agree much faster than if pursuing the problem through the courts. Whereas lawsuits can typically take months or years, mediation usually only takes a few days or weeks – saving both parties time and expenses.

It preserves ongoing relationships 

Mediation usually aims to find solutions that address both party’s needs. It encourages both sides to communicate directly and collaborate. If you need to maintain a working relationship with the other party, mediation may help you to stay on better terms. Mediation can also lay the groundwork for successful interactions and problem-solving with the other party in the future.

Mediation isn’t right for everyone, but it offers a more effective and collaborative approach to settling disputes outside of the courtroom. If you wish to save time and money while preserving your relationship with the other party, mediation may be a beneficial process for you both.