Increasingly widespread in recent years, alternative dispute resolution may be helpful in resolving neighborhood disputes. In lieu of costly litigation, parties involved in a dispute may settle their differences through a mediation or arbitration. This is known as alternative dispute resolution, the alternative to litigation and court. Essentially, arbitration differs from mediation in that arbitration uses a neutral third person who makes a decision after hearing from all sides. A mediator is also a neutral third party, but a mediator assists the parties in reaching an agreement rather than making the decision for the parties involved. Mediation, and arbitration to a degree, give the parties greater control in the outcome of the situation. The parties can also agree upon a framework in which any future disputes may be resolved.