The Key Differences Between Mediation & Arbitration

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When it comes to legal procedures, there are avenues that you can take to facilitate the resolution of disputes and obtain out-of-court settlements.

You can either choose between arbitration, mediation, or a combination of the two approaches. However, before proceeding on this course, you must understand the differences between the two before reaching out for either arbitration or mediation in Calgary.

See how you can find the best one for you!

How Mediation & Arbitration Differentiate

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration involves both parties agreeing to bring in a neutral person or even a panel to make a concrete decision for you. The process allows the neutral arbitrator(s) to weigh in on the facts presented by both parties, any case law, and, if applicable, from the parties’ lawyers prior to  rendering a decision. That decision will explain the reasoning behind it,  backed by any applicable case law. These decisions are binding, as if they were an Order or Judgement of the Court, and can be filed at the courthouse and enforced. Arbitration holds a lot of power; it can order specific actions to be taken by both parties, issue an injunction, determine child or spousal support, and make monetary awards amongst other relief.

Arbitration agreement and gavel on a desk.

What is Mediation?

Like arbitration, mediation involves using a neutral third party to help to resolve a dispute. However, that’s where their similarities end. Unlike arbitration, the goal behind mediation is to resolve conflicts by hearing out both parties and encouraging the parties themselves with creating compromising, creative solutions. The mediator isn’t the one to come up with the final decision to resolve the dispute. They act more as a guide to lead both parties to a solution that works best for them and their family. 

Which to Choose?

Arbitration or mediation are both brilliant choices for settling disputes. Neither one is better than the other, but one  of them can cater to your facts and your family better than the other. If you’re hoping for a more amicable, informal approach to settling your problems, then mediation would be in your best interest since it endeavours to satisfy both parties.  Settlement should aim for resolutions where neither party “wins” but each leaves with a resolution they can live with.

However, if you’re hoping to settle matters more formally, the arbitration will ensure a sound, a law-backed decision is made and enforced. Lastly and alternatively, it is possible to engage in both mediation and arbitration in Calgary;  with this alternative, if parties cannot be assisted in finding a solution themselves, arbitration kicks in to achieve a decision.   

There is a brighter future ahead with McLean Legal Family Lawyers. As your dynamic, multi-service family law firm in Calgary, McLean Legal Family Lawyers can offer you personalized legal services tailored to your particular circumstances. We endeavour to resolve matters quickly and with minimal conflict, offering calm, professional, and realistic advice. Given our years of experience in family law, we can assist with your child support, spousal support, divorce, mediation, and separation agreements, as well as civil litigation issues, commercial/corporate services, and real estate transactions. With over 30 years of experience and success, we’re the Calgary family lawyers that offer you a brighter future. Book your free consultation by calling 587-353-2632.

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