Some people get arbitration and mediation confused, or think they mean the same thing. In reality they are very different processes and should be used in different circumstances. As an accredited family mediator in Perth I’ll talk you through arbitration vs mediation – what’s the difference?
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of family dispute resolution. It is completely voluntary and allows parties to come together to settle their disputes in a safe and calm environment. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps the parties reach a mutual agreement.
What Are The Benefits Of Mediation?
Family mediation is much less costly than using legal channels, like going to court.
It is completely confidential.
It generally takes a much shorter time to resolve disputes when mediation is chosen as the dispute resolution method.
Settlements can relate to anything, not just financial or property affairs. Arrangements for children can be sorted out through mediation.
When choosing mediation, you have complete control over the process. All parties can be heard and solutions can be proposed, but all parties need to agree. If a resolution is presented that you do not agree with, you do not have to accept it.
But remember that mediation is about compromise and keeping your dispute out of the courts, so come into your mediation with an open mind.
When Would You Choose Mediation?
If both parties want to resolve their disputes quickly, effectively and at a low cost, mediation is the perfect dispute resolution method to choose. Mediation also helps to preserve relationships because you come to a mutually agreed solution, not one imposed by a Court after arguments.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration is also a form of dispute resolution. In arbitration however, the dispute between parties is presented to an independent third person – a qualified arbitrator – who will make a binding decision on the dispute. Their decision needs to be complied with by both parties, and this is agreed to before entering into arbitration.
What Are The Benefits Of Arbitration?
If you cannot find a compromise or middle ground, arbitration can give you a final decision that is binding.
Arbitration allows you to testify and prevent you evidence to support your case. The other party is allowed to do the same and then a judgment is made by the arbitrator. Or you can agree to do it by presenting written submissions and no personal appearances.
All parties must agree prior to the arbitration to abide by the arbitrator’s decision.
The matter is completely confidential, unlike litigation.
It is a less complicated process than going through formal courts. And the arbitrator’s decision is final once it is registered with the courts.
When Would You Choose Arbitration?
Arbitration is a more formal process compared to mediation. But it can only be used for financial and property issues, not for disputes over children’s arrangements.
If you want a decision to be made that is binding, arbitration may help you achieve that. If the other party is not willing to mediate, they may be willing to go to arbitration to resolve all issues or maybe just some of them that are a sticking point (like valuations or what property to include in the settlement).
It is still a cheaper option than taking your dispute to the courts.
I hope that helps you to better understand the difference when it comes to arbitration vs mediation, if you’re in need of family dispute resolution in Perth, talk to me today.
I specialise in family mediation and arbitration and I am an accredited family mediator in Perth.