Mediation is a voluntary process which aims to resolve a dispute, by helping the parties to explore the full range of possible outcomes. The process focuses on the underlying reasons for the dispute as well as the facts of the dispute itself. The mediator facilitates discussion between the parties to help the parties find solutions.
The mediator encourages the parties to look forwards, not backwards.
What mediation is not
Mediation is not a judicial process or an arbitration. The process does not impose any result or requirement on the parties. The mediator does not make a decision to resolve the dispute.
The mediator does not give advice.
What are the benefits of mediation?
The parties retain control over the outcome of the dispute. The parties can walk away from the mediation at any time. The mediator will encourage the parties to find imaginative ways to resolve the dispute. A successful mediation often allows the parties to maintain or renew an amicable relationship. Mediation allows the parties to explore a range of different outcomes.
Mediation usually costs less than litigation.
What is the process of mediation?
The process is flexible and amicable. The process is private, confidential and without prejudice. The mediator uses their expertise to encourage positive resolution, though group discussion and private meetings with the parties.
Other methods of alternative dispute resolution
We can offer arbitration services as well as advice about collaborative law.
If all parties to a dispute agree, they can refer the dispute to arbitration, in which an independent arbitrator acts as a judge would do, imposing a solution on the parties. The benefits of arbitration are that it is quicker and often cheaper than litigation, the parties can agree the procedure to be followed (including the need for a hearing) and the process is completely confidential.
Collaborative law is an alternative method of resolving family disputes, with negotiations on an ‘interest base’ as opposed to a ‘positional base’. Each party has his or her own specially trained lawyer. The parties and their lawyers can by agreement seek ‘expert’ guidance on any issue that is fundamental to the resolution of the case.
The object of the exercise is to reach a compromise in the best interests of both parties. The process can resolve issues more quickly than litigation and can help the parties to maintain good relations. Should the parties not be able to compromise the issues between them, they are free to instigate legal proceedings, but the lawyers who were involved in the collaborative process must withdraw from the case.
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