1. Why You Should Consider Mediation
Numerous legal matters these days require you to attend mediation as a pre-requisite before having your matter heard in court. It’s the court’s way of sign-posting to you that it is far more effective and efficient to have your legal dispute handled this way, as opposed to a Judge, who knows very little about your circumstances to ultimately make a decision. Practically speaking, most people are unhappy with the results that litigation serves up, notwithstanding the fact it takes considerable time (mostly years) and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
2. How Does Mediation Work?
A mediator facilitates the mediation between the people in dispute. Importantly, the mediator is a neutral party, he or she does not take sides, but rather helps you reach an agreement.
Furthermore, a mediator is not a judge or a magistrate, they are not there to preside over your dispute and make a decision of who will win and who will lose.
Also, when you attend mediation, it’s not an opportunity for you or the other person you are in dispute with to ask you questions or cross-examine you. Quite often, and this can be your preference, to not be in the same room as the other person, but rather have the mediator shuttle between you both.
3. What Happens If Your Matter Does Not Resolve During Mediation?
If your matter does not resolve at mediation, it may be the case that you are close to an agreement and a further mediation may benefit you. Alternatively, if no agreement has been reached and it’s unlikely that it will be reached in the future, your dispute may proceed to litigation.
4. Do You Have to Attend the Mediation In Person?
Usually this is the preferred method, however, increasingly online mediation are becoming commonplace and we can facilitate this for you and the other person in dispute if you both agree to this method of facilitation.
5. Who Attends the Mediation?
A mediation typically will have the two people in dispute, the mediator and if necessary, the legal representatives of both you and the other person you are in dispute with.
6. Do You Have to Accept Any Offers at a Mediation?
No, you do not. It’s important that during mediation that you only agree to terms and conditions that you’re happy to live with. However, it’s important to know that mediation is often about reaching some middle-ground. It’s unlikely you’re going to get exactly what you want, but you need to consider this in the context of if the matter goes to court. Once there, you would have spent at least tens of thousands of dollars and the matter would have consumed a significant amount of your personal time, often impacting negatively on your wellbeing and that of others around you.
7. How Long Does a Mediation Go For?
A mediation will usually start at 9.00am and go to 5.00pm. Of course, many mediations may not last this long. The allocated time is an important facet of mediation because it forces you both to use the time constructively to try and reach an agreement.
What Should You Do Next
If you have any questions about mediation, please don’t hesitate to ask us at Family Law Mediation.