what happens after mediation (settlement or fails)
Mediation is an excellent method of settling a case, regardless of whether a settlement agreement is reached, there is still work to be done after the mediation is over.
In this article, we will give what to need after mediation agreement or mediation fail in case a divorce or any other dispute.
Most Civil Cases Settle Before Going to Trial
To “settle” a case means to arrive at an official resolution of your dispute without the decision of a judge or jury. You and the other party agree upon what actions are to be taken (e.g. monetary payment) and agree that when those actions are taken the matter will be considered concluded (e.g., release of liability).
Mediation is an excellent alternative dispute resolution. With an impartial third party, you have control over the details of your final agreement. You are relieved of your stressful situation and are free to move on with your life much sooner and for far less cost than going to court.
The good news is that “95% of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement,” according to The Law Dictionary. This means that, even if your case is one of the few for which mediation isn’t successful, you will probably still find a way to reach a full settlement before going to court.
What Happens Next?
Regardless of whether a settlement agreement is reached, there is still work to be done after the mediation is over.
Pay mediation fees
If the mediation process was not offered for free or paid for by the court, someone needs to settle the bill. Sometimes parties each pay half of the total, but this can be negotiated as part of your agreement contract.
File documents with court (if needed)
Some mediations require that your agreement contract (and supporting documents, if needed) be filed with the court, such as in divorce cases.
If settlement was reached: Carry out the terms of the agreement
Hold up your end of the agreement. Carry out any actions you agreed to in a timely manner. The mediation agreement is considered a binding contract; this means that you are legally obligated to carry out the actions you agreed to.
Reaching a partial settlement or no settlement at all does not automatically mean you are headed to court. Remember, most cases in which mediation has failed are still settled before going to trial. Talk with your mediator about options to keep the dialogue open with the other party, if possible.
Is it Always Best to Settle?
There is one situation in particular in which it doesn’t make sense to settle a civil case. If the plaintiff (the person bringing the case forward) is trying to challenge a law or set public policy, settling will not accomplish this goal, because cases that are settled out of court do not set legal precedent.
In almost all other civil cases, however, settling is the best option. The issue is resolved quickly, and financial awards (if any) are far less consumed by court costs and attorney fees. Additionally, settlement details can be kept completely private, but whatever happens in a courtroom becomes public record.
Getting to the End
Fortunately, parties who enter into mediation are seeking an end to their conflict; they have usually come together with a will to find a solution. The key to a successful mediation is to choose a skilled mediator with experience in your area of dispute. MediatorSelect.com utilizes a large directory of well-qualified mediators from around the country on an easy-to-use platform.
Let me know in the comments below if there are other steps required after the mediation.