The Truth Behind Alternative Dispute Resolution Myths

Many people go to court to battle things out during a divorce or other struggle. However, that can get messy and expensive very quickly. Those are just a couple of reasons why more people are turning to mediation instead. Unfortunately, alternative dispute resolution is often misunderstood. Consider these truths behind the common mediation myths.

Myth: The Mediator is a Judge

Truth: The mediator is not a judge at all. In alternate dispute resolution, the mediator works to help the two parties reach an agreement. The mediator does not have any specific end goal or objective in mind. They're not trying to take sides or help one party win. Instead, the mediator strives to guide the parties to their own solution.

Myth: Lawyers Aren't Needed During Meditation

Although settling a dispute through mediation instead of in a courtroom can save feuding parties a lot of money, it doesn't mean that you don't still need a lawyer to look out for your best interests. Both parties should hire an attorney to help them through the mediation process.

A lawyer will help with the negotiation process and make sure you know your rights. Also, the lawyer can take care of things like paperwork to get final approval of the agreement you reach with the other party. Your lawyer is on your side and helps throughout the entire process.

Myth: Meditation Favors an Aggressive Person

When one spouse is more dominant than the other, they may seem to have a clear advantage in an alternative dispute resolution. However, that should not be the case. A fair mediator will make sure that both parties are given an equal voice. Behavioral guidelines are sure to be enforced if there are issues of one spouse trying to take control with manipulative tactics.

Myth: The Mediator Will Tell the Other Party What You Say

Truth: What you say to the mediator is confidential. While many people know that they can talk to their lawyer with complete confidentiality during the dispute resolution, they don't realize that they can also speak to the mediator in private without worrying about their words coming back to haunt them. The mediator will keep what you say confidential.

Of course, during mediation, you may request that the mediator relay what you have said to the other party. However, you can always ask the mediator to refrain from sharing what you've revealed in private. When in doubt, talk to the mediator about their commitment to confidentiality.

Finally, avoid making assumptions and challenge rumors about mediation. It's often one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of getting what you want during a divorce. Also, it can offer solutions to other disputes and help you avoid the frustration of a long court battle. Contact an alternative dispute resolution service for more help.