Texas business owners like you want to avoid disputes. In most cases, you may succeed with this. But there are likely going to be a few scenarios in which a dispute becomes unavoidable.

In these situations, it is important to have a toolbox you can turn to for handling disputes. In this way, you can understand how to address each unique situation as it arises.

What is an alternative dispute resolution method?

FINRA discusses the difference between mediation and arbitration. These are two alternative dispute resolution methods that exist if you do not wish to turn to litigation. When you go with litigation, this means you are taking someone to court. You go through the whole ordeal of having a judge listen to your case and hand down a decision. It costs a lot of time and money and it may burn bridges between business partners, too.

What is the purpose of arbitration and mediation?

Litigation does have its uses, such as when a dispute is too volatile to solve on your own. But in most cases, you will fare fine if you decide to opt for mediation or arbitration. Arbitration falls somewhere between litigation and mediation. It involves an arbitrator who listens to your case and hands down a decision. However, it does not involve the court system or a judge, nor is your information available in court records. It costs less money, too.

Mediation is good if you have a dispute you are relatively sure you can solve with very little help. A mediator’s job is to listen to both parties and provide suggestions on how to move forward. You do not have to take them up on their suggestions, but you can use this as a chance to write a joint decision or contract that is binding. In some cases, this is all you need.