Mediation

Mediation is a speedy and effective way to resolve disputes.  Agreements are reached with the help of a mediator who works with the parties to facilitate a settlement. 

This is often the preferred approach when parties need to continue working together in the future,particularly if there are children involved. 

The mediator is an impartial facilitator who will not try to impose a result.  Their role is to work with the parties to achieve an outcome both parties can live with.

Everything said is confidential and privileged and cannot be referred to in court by either party (assuming the case does not settle).

The mediator cannot be called to give evidence in court.

The mediator’s costs are shared equally whether you settle or not.

There are two things to prepare:

  • The first is a general statement of position.  This is sent to the mediator 2-3 days before the mediation.  It is a good idea to prepare it in such a way that it can be sent to your spouse and lawyer.
  • The second is an opening statement which will be read at the beginning of the mediation and explains the reasons behind your position.  It should set out what you want your spouse to understand.  None of the usual restrictions that are imposed by a court apply.

The process is informal.  One or other party will begin by reading their personal opening statement and the other spouse will reply.  The lawyers then give a brief synopsis of the issues and the legal position.

The mediator identifies and records the ‘issues’ and begins working through them, brain storming options to resolve any impasse.  The mediator has a variety of techniques to encourage a settlement, including adjourning to meet with either side when appropriate.

Once a settlement is reached, the agreement is recorded as a formal Deed of Settlement which is signed and witnessed.  It is binding on all parties. 

Mediators Antonia uses are:

Their websites provide additional information on the process and copies of standard mediation agreements.

 

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