Mediation vs. Arbitration

Mediation vs. Arbitration

There is a range of  alternative dispute resolution methods to choose from: Private Judge vs. Mediation vs. Arbitration vs. Negotiation.

The parties have lest control over the process when a private judge and arbitration are involved. Parties have higher control of the process when Mediation and Negotiation take place. There are following possibilities for reaching divorce decision:


The judge makes the decision. Parties could be self-represented or represented by attorney.


  1. Parties make their own agreement through negotiation.
  2. Their attorneys negotiate an agreement.
  3. Mediation
  4. Collaborative law team.

There are some other kinds of alternative dispute resolution methods such as facilitation, ombudsman and hybrid.

The people usually chose a method based on case complexity, party’s relationship, their ability to work together, availability of funds.

Mediation vs. Arbitration

Both Mediation and Arbitration are ways to resolve legal issues outside of the court. In Arbitration,  legal problems will be decided by the arbitrator based on evidence presented. The arbitrator analyzes the facts presented and awards a legally binding decision on both parties. In mediation, the Mediator ( a neutral party) will guide both sides through the process and help them reach decision together based on what is most important for everyone involved.

Advantage of Mediation based on case study

According to longitudinal study (12 years) high conflict cases, especially child custody, 28% of nonresident parent who mediated saw their children weekly. 52% of nonresident parents who mediated talked with their children weekly.

In comparison Litigation vs. Mediation vs. Arbitration, 9% who litigated saw their children weekly. 14% of nonresident parents who went through Litigation and Arbitration talked with their children weekly. A big advantage of mediation is that they deal with issues they care about. Another advantage of Mediation is that it helps parties to understand each other, allows presentation of their view and to be heard.

Mediation also has the advantage of being typically faster and less expensive than litigation. It allows for a more custom-tailored solution that can address the unique needs of the individuals involved. Because it is a collaborative process, it can also contribute to a more amicable post-dispute relationship, which is particularly important when children are involved, as it may result in better co-parenting arrangements.

On the other hand, arbitration closely resembles a court proceeding but is usually less formal and quicker. An arbitrator, or a panel of arbitrators, listens to both sides and then renders a decision which can be either binding or non-binding, depending on the agreement between the parties. Binding arbitration decisions can often be enforced in the same manner as a court judgment.

Arbitration can be particularly beneficial when the parties want a decision maker with specific expertise in the subject matter of the dispute. Additionally, arbitration proceedings are generally private, which can be important for individuals and companies concerned with confidentiality.

In summary, the choice between mediation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution involves a variety of factors including the desired level of control over the outcome, concerns about confidentiality, the relationship between the parties, cost, time, and emotional investment. It’s important for parties to carefully consider these factors and potentially seek legal advice when deciding which path to take for resolving their disputes.