Mediation is a confidential process where an independent and neutral third party facilitates negotiations between parties to a dispute and the reaching of a decision about their dispute.
Mediation is a required step in most matters commenced in Court. It is a recommended early step to consider before commencement of formal proceedings in Court.
The mediator cannot impose a decision upon the parties. However through their facilitation and technical skills, mediators are able to assist parties explore the issues in depth and reach the best possible joint decisions that the circumstances allow.
Some mediators use a blended process that involves mediation and incorporates an advisory component or process that involves a provision of expert information and advice. This approach will be used where it can support the decision making of the participants provided that the participants agree that such advice can be provided. Such processes may be defined as evaluative mediation and are commonly used in family law disputes.
Mediation usually involves the parties’ legal advisors but in suitable matters can be undertaken by the parties without legal advisors being present.
The mediation process is adversarial.
The benefits of Mediation
- Efficient – Mediation is likely to produce a quicker outcome than the more formal processes of arbitration or litigation. It should therefore be considered as early as possible after a dispute has arisen.
- Affordable – mediation is often more cost effective than litigation
- Mediation is particularly appropriate where a dispute involves complex issues and/or multiple parties.
- Empowering – Mediation enables parties to have an input into and to control the process, allowing for a more tailored outcome.
- Confidential – Information disclosed during the mediation cannot be used later in any court proceedings. Mediation is also useful where privacy and confidentiality are important as mediation enables the parties to preserve these rights without public disclosure. This often leads to more satisfactory outcomes for both parties.
The mediation process will not suit those people who:
- Are angry and want to seek revenge against their former partner/spouse;
- Believe this process will enable them to pressure their former spouse/partner to agree to what they want;
- Wish to avoid giving certain financial information to their former spouse/partner;
- Are looking for a `soft’ option; or
- Do not have equal bargaining power to that of their former partner/spouse.
Damien Greer has many years of experience as a mediator and participating on behalf of clients in complex financial and children’s matters. He can provide further information to those people interested in this process.