Role of the Mediator
The Mediator’s aim is to facilitate open communication between you and your ex-partner so that you can:
- identify issues of the dispute;
- generate options to address these issues; and
- agree upon ways to resolve the issues (i.e. ‘settlement’).
The Mediator’s role is essentially a neutral one. The Mediator will:
- not take sides;
- work with both you and your ex-partner to help you negotiate your own decisions together; and
- not represent either of you in Court either before or after the Mediation;
- not provide legal advice.
Characteristics of Mediation
- All decisions in mediation will be made by you and your ex-partner, not the Court or anyone else.
- Mediation will help you to identify important issues that relate to your assets and finances and/or care arrangements for your children.
- Mediation is readily accessible, making it fast and efficient.
- Mediation is a popular form of alternative dispute resolution.
Family Dispute Resolution is a form of mediation and is a compulsory step before proceedings about children can be issued at the Court. This process endeavours to help separating couples reach agreements that are in the best interest of their children. It also encourages separating couples to parent cooperatively. Parenting Plans or agreements are frequently used to assist in this process.
Cost of Collaborative practice Mediation compared to Litigation
Because Mediation and the Collaborative process can resolve matters speedily and amicably, the financial and emotional damage normally caused by Litigation can be avoided by you, your family and your friends.
Mediation and Collaboration can also serve to minimise conflict between you and your partner, so that you can make amicable decisions regarding your finances and other personal interests. It will form a basis for your ongoing relationship with each other.
How is Collaborative practice different from traditional Court proceedings?
When one party commences Court proceedings they file an Application with the Court setting out the orders they want the Court to make. Both parties then go through a sequence of Court proceedings and conferences and hearings that can take many months or possibly years before they have a final trial where a Judge makes a decision as to what orders will be made.
Through Collaborative practice, separating couples and their lawyers work together, sometimes with other professionals such as relationship therapists, valuers, accountants and financial planners, to find out what each party wants and how that can be achieved. The Court is not involved in this process and no documents are filed with the Court whilst the negotiations are ongoing. If an agreement is reached, the parties can elect for it to be drafted as a consent order to be lodged at the Court or to be incorporated in a binding financial agreement.
Don’t be frightened to make enquiries and conduct your own research. It is better to be empowered with legal and other knowledge than to worry about problems that may not exist.
Invitation: You are welcome to arrange an obligation free 20 minute consultation with one of our qualified Accredited Family Law Specialist lawyers, to discuss your circumstances.
Efficiency of Collaborative practice and Mediation
Dispute resolution via Mediation or Collaborative practice in Family Law can be arranged in a timely manner and satisfactory outcomes can often be reached relatively quickly. With either method, negotiations usually take place either over a number of sessions, or during one day, depending on the complexity of the dispute or the situation. By using either Mediation or Collaborative practice settlements can usually be reached after 6 to 8 hours of negotiation. Collaborative practice may take longer depending on the complexity of the circumstances and whether other support professionals need to be consulted.
We can advise you during the process, whichever option you choose, and if appropriate we can also represent you in any meetings. When you are engaged in an alternative dispute resolution process it is important to remain focused on achieving a resolution, and to accept that compromise may be necessary.
Aylward Game Solicitors, keeping you ahead of the game.