Mediation has long been a staple in family law cases. In many states courts will not hear custody disputes, for example, until after the parents attempt to resolve their differences through mediation. The belief is that the process allows the parties to reach a more satisfying solution through negotiation than a judge could reach by picking a winner and loser.
Mediation has been so successful that it is now being seen as a good option in other legal fields that involve disputes between relatives, such as elder law.
This trend was recently reported by Daily Local News in "Mediation for elder issues can prevent litigation."
The process of mediation is pretty simple. The parties choose an independent, trained mediator to facilitate negotiations. The mediator is not there to tell the parties what to decide or to pressure them into reaching an agreement. Instead, the mediator helps keep the discussion productive as the parties work toward their own solution.
Mediation can be used in a wide array of elder law disputes, such as when siblings disagree about the care of an elderly parent or when the costs of going to court for a particular matter are prohibitive.
Mediation may not be a good idea when the parties could get violent or when the case involves extremely technical legal matters. If you are in a dispute and think mediation might help resolve it, ask an elder law attorney if he or she thinks it is appropriate.
Reference: Daily Local News (Feb. 15, 2016) "Mediation for elder issues can prevent litigation."