One of the first questions on the lips of those considering family mediation is "how much does it cost?".It's a fair question, and often the answer will depend on the type of conflict you need sorted out, how long down the road in the conflict you've both travelled, but most importantly, how committed you both are to sorting things out via mediation.
For you, and the person with whom you're in conflict, the financial cost of instructing mediation with a CALM Scotland mediator will be discussed with you before you commit to anything. You will be told in advance everything you need to know about the process, and all your questions will be answered quickly, so that you can trust that you'll receive value for money.
You need to be aware that depending on your financial circumstances and the legal merits of your conflict, you may be entitled to some form of financial assistance, for example via the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and that this could cover the cost of instructing a lawyer, appearing in court, or attending mediation offline or online.
Time and time again mediation has proved to resolve parties' issues at a fraction of the cost of going to court or negotiating via lawyers.
In effect, even if you don't get assistance from the legal aid, both of you are making a relatively small investment in your future, for the sake of some peace. And there's the point - although that financial cost is very likely to be minimal compared to what you might need to pay to argue things with lawyers or in court, there are other costs you need to bear in mind before deciding how to resolve your conflict. Read on below for more...
the true costs of conflict
So there are some non-financial costs that need to be considered in deciding how to sort out your conflict.
Just as mediation has proven often to cost a fraction of instructing lawyers and arguing things in court, on average it also takes a fraction of the time. With mediation via CALM Scotland, you won't wait long to get a referral to mediation, and you won't be hanging around for hearing dates in court or taking time out of work or raising your kids to attend those hearings. The process will be designed flexibly around you - your life, your calendar, and will be conducted at your own pace.
Often overlooked is the impact on emotions. If you instruct a lawyer to argue for you in negotiation or court, there's a great risk that your conflict will be ignited. The simple act of approaching separate lawyers or raising a court action pits you against each other from the get go, and this has a tendency to fuel the fire of your conflict as each of your lawyers make their points. As the conflict goes on (which it has a tendency to do in the civil justice system), how do you feel your emotions would be affected? Do you want some peace, less hassle and stress in your life? Do you want to move on and enjoy life, a life that you've constructed off your own back? It's hard to sit down and chat even online with someone you've been arguing with, we get that, but we've been there plenty of times before and can help you voice your concerns and be listened to.
You may need to keep up an ongoing relationship with the person with whom you're in conflict, for example with a co-parent. Mediation provides you with an opportunity not only to move past the conflict in a way you can both live with, but also to think about how you might handle any future conflict between you, how you can keep a lid on things to ensure the relationship works as it should. Again in court, you might end up simply with a piece of paper deciding your dispute and be left just to get on with it.
So this is a mere introduction into the many costs of conflict. Conflict is perfectly natural, don't think it's something that can be avoided 100%. What's of more use to you though, is how you think about conflict and control your behaviour and reactions, and this can be explored constructively in mediation by all parties to the conflict to minimise all costs and lead to some peace.
Get in touch with us today and we'll talk you through the process in more detail.