Mediation is now well-recognised by the public, the profession and the Court as a much-preferred alternative to going to court, and is a process in which the clients (supported by the mediator) identify issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes. The mediator supports the clients in coming to and making their own decisions about the issues affecting them and their family.
The benefits of mediation are that it avoids the need for long and expensive court battles, happens at a time and place convenient to the clients, maintains privacy for clients, can be tailored to meet the parties’ needs and allow the parties to keep control of their own lives.
Mediations are confidential (with certain limited exceptions), which is done to encourage the parties to speak openly about any issues affecting them. Both parties are given the opportunity to set out their interests and/or concerns to the other party, following which they are each able to speak with the mediator alone about any other issues. Joint sessions enable the parties to generate options and discuss possible outcomes, and (if agreement can be reached) a record is made of that agreement.
Even if mediation doesn’t resolve all of the issues a couple may face, it can narrow the issues in dispute which will ultimately save them time and money.