The Difference Between Mediation & Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This means that both methods are used to resolve disputes outside of the courtroom. Which one is best for you? What are the differences between mediation and arbitration? Find answers to your questions by reading below.

What Is Mediation?

In mediation, a neutral third party is a mediator between the parties in a dispute. The mediator helps the two parties come to an agreement together without going to court. Once a decision is made, both parties sign a legally binding and written agreement.

For example, couples considering divorce that are able to work amicably together may choose mediation as a more cost-effective option. The mediator will help both parties agree on issues such as finances and child custody.

What Is Arbitration?

In arbitration, a third-party arbitrator will make a decision regarding the dispute. Arbitration is similar to a traditional court case, except it happens in private without the court being involved. 

For example, each party will be able to submit evidence and tell their side of the story to the arbitrator, just like they would a judge or jury.

The Key Difference Lies in How Decisions Are Made

As you can see, the key difference between mediation and arbitration is how decisions about a case are made. In mediation, the two parties in the dispute will reach a decision together with the help of a mediator. 

In arbitration, a third-party arbitrator will decide the case after looking at the evidence and listening to both sides. The decision made by the arbitrator is legally binding, whether both parties agree or disagree with it.

Is There a Difference in Cost?

Both mediation and arbitration often cost less than litigation as you can avoid additional court costs. However, arbitration sometimes costs more than mediation as it’s more formal and requires more in-depth work.

Is alternative dispute resolution right for you? Good candidates for mediation or arbitration are those who want their matter to be private and wish to potentially save on court costs. For divorce, you and your spouse should be willing to work together, regardless of the method you choose. A skilled attorney can help you decide which method is right for you.

Need Legal Help? Reach Out to White & Associates Today!

Are you considering a divorce? Need defense due to being charged with a crime? The attorneys at White & Associates in Elk River can help. To learn more about our legal services, give us a call at 763-241-0477 or send us a message.