- It is confidential. Whatever is said in mediation will not be revealed to anyone outside the mediation, including the court, except in cases of harm to another person, particularly children.
- It is relatively quick. It is not unusual for parties to reach an agreed resolution after a few sessions as opposed to months with solicitors.
- The Mediator is impartial. The Mediator does not take sides. The Mediator actively listens to the concerns of both parties without favoring one or the other.
- The Mediator does not give legal advice. The Mediator facilitates the process of mediation by giving legal information and steering the parties towards a resolution.
- Decisions are driven by the parties. The Mediators facilitate parties coming to their own decisions to reach an agreed outcome.
- It encourages co-operation and communication rather than conflict.
- It gives the opportunity to resolve practical family arrangements.
- It is focused on moving forward to reach a fair resolution.
What is Family Mediation?
Family Mediation is a process in which an impartial person, the Family Mediator, assists those involved in family breakdown to reach a resolution that is fair in respect of children matters, property, finances, divorce and any other relevant issue.
Essential features of mediation:
- It is cheap. Mediation will cost a fraction of the cost of solicitors, particularly where litigation is involved.
- It is voluntary. All the parties involved, including the Mediator enter mediation on a voluntary basis. Any party can withdraw and terminate the mediation if he or she so wishes.
How does family mediation work?
Family mediation involves the exploration of issues presented by the parties with a view to arriving at a fair resolution with the assistance of the Mediator.
There are 3 stages:
1. The Assessment stage.
The Mediator meets with the parties either separately or together to explain the mediation process and to find out if mediation is suitable to resolve the issues presented. If mediation is suitable the parties are asked to sign a document confirming their agreement to mediate.
2. The Mediation stage.
At the first session the Mediator will ask which issues need to be mediated and will prioritize them.The issues can relate to children matters, finances, property, prenuptial agreements. Sessions generally last 1 hour.
3. End of mediation stage.
At the end of the mediation process the Mediator will prepare a document setting out your proposals which can then be taken to your solicitor to be put in a format used by the court called a Consent Order.