Use mediation to resolve disputes on your terms

There will always be resolve disputes

Resolve DisputesNo matter where it is that people interact at some point there will always be disagreements and resolves disputes.

It isn’t inevitable that these disputes turn into conflict. Often people use the words dispute and conflict interchangeably but we see a distinction between the two.

You can have a dispute with someone about something but still have a largely functional relationship. Separated parents who are working together for the benefit of their child but unable to reach agreement about a property settlement would be an example of people who have a dispute.

Another set of parents who are constantly fighting with each other, even in front of the children without worrying about the consequences on their child would be in conflict with each other. The desire to punish or to win at all costs is common when people (or countries) get in conflict with each other.

The next step is war where combatants approach to human rights, decency and the sanctity of life become more flexible and they excuse themselves to behave in ways that they would not consider acceptable if they were at peace. 

Working on Mediation of resolve disputes

It is believed that people have an inherent suspicion of those who are different to them but that evolutionary legacy is easily overcome through understanding and acceptance of difference.

It is also very common for people to compete with others in order to get what they want in life as well as be defensive about their rights, space, things, resources and opportunities. We also make decisions based on our emotions that at times are not the most rational causing problems in relationships or leading to disputes.

One of the common drivers for people is a sense of fairness. High emotion and a sense of what is fair often sees people going to a lawyer and ending up in court with little or no real consideration of other options to resolve the dispute or conflict without resorting to asking a judge to resolve the dispute for them.

Competitive sport, adversarial political systems and other social constructs all contribute to the belief that some hold that the only way to resolve a dispute is to get a judge to make a judgement.

If you are considering going to court do you secretly think it will be like going to Judge Judy’s court room. You get to tell the judge what a terrible person the other person is, the judge will tell them off and then find in your favour. It isn’t like that.

The high cost of the adversarial solution

Going to court with legal representation will cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. In most parts of Australia you willl need to show a lawyer  that you have the funds available to fight a legal battle by putting  $10,000 to  $15,000 in their trust  fund  to get  started with a court action.

This will not be enough to see you through in most cases unless the lawyers are able to negotiate a resolution early in the process.

Going to court should not be the first option that you try. There are dispute resolution professionals available who can assist you through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to solve problems, resolve disputes and reach an acceptable agreement that you can both live with.

Sometimes people get so caught up in the emotion of the battle with their former partner, former business partner, neighbour or whoever it is that they are in conflict that they seem to stop considering alternatives.  They don’t seem to realise that no “win” that they might get will possibly justify the time and money spent in it’s pursuit.  In the civil courts especially the “win” is often not very satisfying to either or if substantially what one side wants the other will often not comply. This leaves them throwing away more money that they can no longer afford to waste trying to get the court to make someone do something that they don’t want to do.

In the family courts of Australia only about 15% of cases make it to a final trial. The rest drop out of the system when all the money is spent or they find a solution to the dispute themselves through the process, sometimes with the help of interim orders.


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Use mediation to resolve disputes on your terms

by Joanne Law time to read: 3 min