Litigation is not always the best method to resolve disputes between parties. The process may be expensive, cause further damage to once-valued relationships, and may ultimately resolve the issue litigated with a solution that is unworkable for everyone.
In Missoula, the Court regularly requires that parties attempt to mediate or settle their disputes out of court before moving through trial. This is because the parties, on their own, under the flexibility of mediation, will come up with a far better solution than a court ever will.
Many types of conflict can be settled or improved through the mediation process.
“Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals” (Wilmot & Hocker, 2007, pp. 8-9). When in the throws of conflict, it is difficult to see where one’s goals may actually be compatible, where resources are actually abundant, or where others are not purposefully interfering with those goals. A neutral third party with empathy and an eye for solution-finding can help move parties from conflict to resolution by finding that fine thread of consensus.
MTLJ’s Meri Althauser offers short-term and long-term mediation for individuals in conflict, including full-day evaluative settlement conferences for dissolution and parenting plan or other civil cases, and drafting final settlement documents for the Court.
We offer mediation on a sliding fee scale and consider each party’s finances when determining cost.
If you believe mediation would be appropriate for your case and are interested in finding out more about the process and costs, please fill out our Get Legal Help form or call us at 406-356-6546 to get more information.