In many civil cases, mediation is a potential option prior to a final hearing or trial to allow the parties to negotiate with the assistance of a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party who acts as a go between for the parties and work with both sides towards a settlement. However, a complete settlement is not the only outcome of mediation.
Even if mediation fails to settle every issue before trial, there can be diverse outcomes of mediation that can assist the parties and help narrow issues for trial. Mediation, even when it fails to settle each issue completely, may end up with the parties in a better position than before mediation. Parties can agree to:
- Make specific stipulations for trial (ex. what property is to be divided in a divorce)
- Settle part of the matter and bifurcate the remaining issues (ex. the parties may work out child support issues, but not property division, and will make an agreement as to child support, and go to Court on property)
- Determine the controlling dynamic
In some cases, there are underlying factors such as emotion, which keep the parties from being able to reach an agreement. By having the underlying factual information and understanding the dynamics of the parties, this may help in trial to determine a strategy based on the controlling dynamic of the parties.
Mediation can often settle a case entirely, and allow the parties to sign an agreement to be Ordered by the Court without ever setting foot into the Courtroom. However, even if mediation falls short of a complete settlement, there may be benefits to mediation that can assist in future litigation.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring potential benefits of mediation, even when same does not solve every issue. This blog post is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.