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The Difference Between Mediation & Arbitration

Daniel Willems Jan. 14, 2019

In many family law cases, you can avoid the stress and costs of a trial by taking part in Alternative Dispute Resolution. There are two ways to reach a decision with Alternative Dispute Resolution: mediation or arbitration.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the act of coming to a decision which both parties agree to with the assistance of a mediator. The role of the mediator may vary from case to case, but generally includes:

  • Guiding discussion

  • Ensuring each side is understood by the other side

  • Exploring solutions that benefit both sides

  • Helping to draft the parties agreement

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is the act of selecting a neutral arbitrator to decide the outcome of a dispute  between two or more parties. Though it is more commonly used by businesses, arbitration is gaining popularity in family law cases in Iowa.  Often arbitration is required by contracts.  Parties to a dispute may prefer arbitration over a court trial because it can be: a) faster; b) more flexible; c) more confidential; d) less expensive; and e)  entrusted to a panel of arbitrators selected by the parties.

What Is the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?

The main difference between mediation and arbitration is who decides the outcome of the dispute. In mediation, the mediator is just there to facilitate the discussion and help the two parties come to a decision. In comparison, an arbitrator is selected to make a decision in place of the two parties.

What Are the Benefits of Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Whether you choose mediation or arbitration, there are a number of benefits to taking part in alternative dispute resolution. The number one benefit of resolving conflict through mediation or arbitration is not going to trial. Other benefits may include:

  • Less stress, anger, and financial strain

  • A shorter wait time for the conflict to be resolved

  • A more ideal outcome for both parties involved

Work with An Expert in Mediation and Arbitration

If you are looking to resolve your dispute with either mediation or arbitration, you should work with a lawyer you can trust. Daniel Willems is an expert in Alternative Dispute Resolution and collaborative law practice.

With more than 25 years of experience, you can trust Daniel Willems to provide exceptional mediation services. Request a consultation with Daniel today to learn more!