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What are the Benefits of Mediation?

Through mediation, the parties are directly involved in making decisions for and about themselves and their children, unlike when parties take the case to court. In court, a judge or master decides the outcome for the parties according to the law and facts presented. Since judges are restricted to what the law allows them to do, both parties may sometimes find they are unhappy with the judge's decision. When working through mediation rather than the court, the ability for the parties to work through their problems without being bound by rules of the court allows more freedom to satisfy everyone concerned. The parties may also be more inclined to abide by an agreement that they have reached together, rather than terms, which have been forced upon them by the court.

Sometimes, people try to solve future problems by the pattern set when they first separated or divorced. If the parties litigated their differences initially, they are more likely to solve additional problems in the relationship through costly litigation. But if the parties resolve their differences through mediation and cooperation from the very beginning, they will most likely cooperate and resolve any other issues that arise.

How Do the Parties Begin Mediation and how does the court choose a Court-ordered mediator? Do we have to go with a court ordered mediator or can we choose our own mediator?
You may mediate your entire divorce. You do not have to wait for the judge to say it is time to mediate. You have a right to choose your own mediator. You may inform the judge that you have chosen Maryland Divorce Mediation as your mediation service. Here is the process when the judge steps in and suggests that you mediate. Court-ordered mediation begins when a judge suggests it. The mediator for the parties is appointed by the court sometimes from a list of mediators. Maryland Divorce Mediation is a private company that specializes in divorce mediation. You need to tell the judge you have hired or are about to hire Maryland Divorce Mediation. If you decide to go with the Court-ordered mediation they may charge you an additional fee for appointing a Court-ordered mediator. Most mediators charge from two to three hundred dollars per hour. For voluntary mediation, the parties begin by locating a mediator and making an appointment. Our practice; Maryland Divorce Mediation, is a voluntary mediation option which you and your family may choose for your mediation process.

Understanding the benefits of Mediation

Confidentiality

One of the hallmarks of mediation is that the process is strictly confidential. Knowing that always what a participant says remains confidential encourages people to participate in mediation. Using litigation all related facts is open to the public when made available through the courts.

The first item a mediator addresses is to inform the parties of their responsibility for confidentiality.

Steps put in place during mediation to help ensure this privacy include:

  1. All sessions take place behind closed doors.
  2. Outsiders can observe proceedings only with both parties consent.
  3. The meeting is not recorded.
  4. Publicity is prohibited.

A good example to mediation is a case most recently mediated; Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Once filed the case went private where both parties saw it was to their best interest and their children's best interest to not delay the case. In private not in a public forum the two discussed and agreed to a settlement behind close doors.
In accordance with your mediated agreement which addresses items of confidentiality and common law in general, information discussed in mediation cannot be used as evidence in the event that the matter proceeds to court.
Confidentiality is a powerful and attractive feature of mediation. It lowers the risk to participants of disclosing information and emotions while encouraging realism by eliminating the benefits of posturing. In general, information discussed in mediation cannot be used as evidence in the event that the matter proceeds to court, in accord with the mediation agreement and common law.

Few mediations succeed unless the parties can communicate fully and openly without fear of compromising a potential court case. The promise of confidentiality mitigates such concerns. Organizations often see confidentiality as a reason to use mediation in lieu of litigation, particularly in sensitive areas. Looking at the subject matter regarding confidentiality and how it is maintained; litigation in most situations is totally the opposite of mediation when it comes to confidentiality. In a proceeding, one of the defining factors of litigation is demanding full discloser leaving nothing relevant unsaid. Laws may limit confidentiality in mediation, however for the most part privacy and confidentiality can be maintained. Laws and ethical standards within the mediator's profession(s) in and outside of mediation require discloser when an allegation of physical or other abuse is made known to the mediator. Common sense will tell you the more parties in mediation, the less likely that perfect confidentiality will be maintained. Some parties may even be required to give an account of the mediation to outside professionals opening up gaps, allowing unauthorized information to be known. Therefore if you want total confidentiality it is best to bring only the major participants into the mediation. This is your process, you are the witness and it is your time to open up and talk freely. You are in charge.

Parties can negotiate without forfeiture of legal rights or remedies.

Parties who enter into mediation do not forfeit legal rights or remedies. If mediation does not result in settlement, each side can continue to enforce their rights through appropriate court procedures. In honest attempts to reach settlement, in most cases any offer or admissions that is said in mediation while persons are in negotiations for settlement or the like cannot be used later in court when the subject matter is the same. To conclude, court systems today recognize the need for mediation as a way to reduce case loads and adversarial litigation. If participants equally embrace mediation as an alternative to costly and potentially harmful litigation, the court system and the participants both will benefit by the rewards that mediation has to offer.

 



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