One of the main differences between Mediation and Litigation are the ways the negotiations are organized and processed. In litigation, legal council usually uses what I call interest-based negotiations. They are looking out for their client’s best interests which is their role, however it can lead to the parties developing a higher level of conflict than they had before. This process can be extremely lengthy. It is difficult to find middle ground when you are ONLY focused on your own interests and desires.
Goal based negotiations are what we use in mediation. We pinpoint common goals that our clients have and discuss how we can reach those goals. One example of the most common goals we see in mediation, for both parties, is keeping the children happy and safe. Once you bring a new perspective into the conversations and focus on what the two parties have in common instead of how they are different, really does change the energy in the room.