What does a mediator do?

A mediator is an independent person who assists disputing parties to:

  • identify their issues;
  • negotiate; and
  • resolve their disputes.

Mediators do this by facilitating discussion between parties and offering a neutral and independent point of view. They are non-judgmental and cannot impose any decisions on the parties. Instead they assist the parties to reach an agreement that the parties are happy with.

A mediator is often trained and has certain qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience. Their main aim is to help parties reach a fair agreement.  They do not give legal advice.

A mediator will usually meet with the parties separately to discuss their issues and concerns. The mediator will then meet with all parties together to discuss each party’s issues and explore potential resolutions.

 

Why should I go to mediation?

Prior to issuing an Application with the Court for children’s matters, the Court generally requires a certificate of attempted mediation unless there are factors that exempt you from obtaining such a certificate.  Such factors include urgency of your application, family violence and whether the child’s safety is at risk.  Mediation allows you and your former partner to explore a settlement without the involvement of lawyers at the early stages of your separation.  Mediation not only deals with children’s matters but also property matters.  It can be a cheaper process and allows you to control the outcome as opposed to the Court determining the outcome.  If you have reached a settlement through mediation, it is important that you receive legal advice as to the agreement.

 

Do I see a solicitor after mediation?

If you have attended mediation and came to an agreement with your former partner or former spouse without a solicitor present or legal advice, it is a good idea to have a solicitor check over any agreement prior to signing off on any agreement or to formalise an agreement.  This enables you to ensure everything you need is included in any agreement and that you have the right form of agreement for you eg a Binding Financial Agreement or a Consent Order.

Written by Pearsons Family Law.