Trying to work out a settlement for a legal matter via mediation is usually a faster and less-costly option than having to go through a legal trial. Of course, that only matters if both sides are ready to work toward a resolution. There are a few things that can derail the process, which could mean that it isn’t successful.

There are three primary causes of mediation failing. While it might be easy for you to spot these, they might not be overtly obvious.

Unfair treatment by the mediator is one of the three more common causes why mediation fails. In many cases, this is a perceived thought that might not be rooted in reality. Some parties might feel this way if the sessions aren’t going the way they want them to. It’s also the reason you should always have a mediator that both sides are comfortable using.

Another reason is that one party is concerned that the clauses of the mediation aren’t going to be followed. Typically, there might be a worry that the sessions won’t actually remain confidential. This could lead to one side being less truthful or forthcoming, which could impact the effectiveness of the mediation.

Finally, mediation might not work if either party isn’t fully invested in the process. Everyone has to be prepared to negotiate and compromise or the sessions won’t be productive. When any person is unwilling to admit their side’s fault in the matter and work toward a solution, things might fail. Of course, finding the resolution is more important than placing blame on any side.

When mediation works, all parties usually benefit. For this reason, it’s typically a good idea to try this resolution method as an alternative to a trial.