The Use of Mediation to Settle Family Cases

July 11, 2022

Mediation is a process of settling legal disputes with the help of a neutral and third-party facilitator. Most mediators have legal back ground. However, not all mediators are lawyers or ex-judges. Regardless of their educational back ground, individuals go through required hours of training before serving as mediators in Maryland. Most jurisdictions in Maryland encourage parties to attempt to settle their cases with the help of a mediator. Here are the main benefits of mediation.

1. In mediation, the parties play an active and deciding role in the final outcome of a case. Unlike litigation where the decision on the case is made by a judge or a jury, the parties themselves decide on mutually acceptable terms. The mediator consults both parties and takes notes. Each party provides his/her proposal and the mediator writes down the terms as agreed by both parties. A judge will finally ratify the agreement by making sure the parties knowingly and voluntarily agreed on the mediated outcome.

2. Mediation can also avoid a long and costly litigation. This can be cost effective for a client as well as a lawyer. A lawyer does not usually bill a client for trial preparation and litigation if the case is settled in mediation. This can save the client a lot of money. An attorney can also save tremendous amount of time and resource by focusing on more contentious cases that cannot be settled through mediation.

3. Mediation can save resources of judges and the court staff as well. In certain jurisdictions in Maryland, judges have a heavy load of cases. Settling a case through mediation will free up some time for the judges. This gives judges the opportunity to divert their time and resource towards deciding other contentious cases. This will in turn accelerate the resolution of cases that have been on the court’s docket for quite some time.