family and fertility lawyers
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby parties voluntarily attempt to resolve disputes with the assistance of an independent mediator. In family law matters, the mediator is generally a senior Family Lawyer such as a retired Judge, Barrister or senior Solicitor. These mediators are well aware of the law, and more importantly, of the necessity to settle matters amicably. Whilst it is not a requirement, most mediators have had training and are qualified and some are nationally accredited mediators.
Our Partner, Bruce Provan, is a Nationally Accredited Mediator. Bruce says “I love helping people reach agreement about their children and their money and to help them move on with their lives.” Bruce’s mediation website is at https://bruceprovanmediator.com/.
Benefits of mediation
One of the benefits of mediation is that the parties can resolve their dispute amicably and without the animosity that so often develops in litigation. Further, people are more likely to comply with a mediated agreement than they are with a Court order which has been bestowed upon them. Often mediators are able to work with the parties to develop a solution that caters to both parties’ interests.
All our lawyers are experienced in representing clients at mediations in Family Law matters including both property and children’s matters.
Mediation is a cheaper, simpler, quicker and less stressful process than litigation. When both parties have had good legal advice and understand their lawful entitlement, it is generally possible for the mediator to develop solutions and assist the parties to resolve their dispute.
The Mediation Process
Mediation in Family Law disputes is typically run in a very formal and detailed manner. Mediation can take place either before legal proceedings have been commenced in a Court or afterwards. These days, most property settlement matters before the Court are resolved through mediation and only a minority of matters proceed to a final hearing before a Judge.
In parenting matters a person cannot make an application to Court before first attempting to participate in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) with a qualified Practitioner. These practitioners are trained professionals with the skills to assist parents in making satisfactory arrangements for the children.
Mediation should not take place where there is a power imbalance and unless each party has made a full and frank disclosure of financial affairs and any valuations have taken place. At mediation, the mediator will spend a great deal of time with the parties to understand their position, the issues, their wishes and the key areas of dispute. It is their role to facilitate the negotiations with a view to resolving all issues by agreement. That is not always possible, but sometimes it will be possible to agree on some issues but not others.
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