When you think about filing a lawsuit in Arizona, you probably imagine going in front of a judge in a courtroom. However, you have other options that may be better for your case. One of those is mediation. This is where you and the other party sit down with a neutral third party to negotiate a settlement or reach an agreement.

According to the State Bar of Arizona, mediation gives you more control over the process than going before a judge will. You have direct say in the outcome and are not relying on someone else to make the decision.

It is important to understand that the mediator does not act like a judge in any way. He or she is there as a guide. It is the mediator’s job to keep the conversation going and to ensure you work together. That also brings up the point that mediation only works when you are both willing to sit down and hash things out.

You should also keep in mind that there are no laws about the mediation process except for a guarantee of confidentiality. This allows for more freedom in how things progress, but it also can lead to issues with unqualified mediators, so always choose a mediator carefully.

Mediation is actually required in many small claims cases and divorce cases in the state, so you may end up before a mediator whether you choose to or not. At minimum, this process allows you to talk over the details and get to the heart of things, which will make things easier if you do end up in the courtroom. This information is for education and is not legal advice.