Frequently asked Questions.
Mediation is a voluntary process whereby a neutral third party facilitates a meeting between the disputants. The mediators role is to guide disputants toward cooperative negotiation. This includes helping disputants understand the other parties' perspective and move on to creatively exploring possible solutions for their dispute.
It can take one hour to many hours and one session to several. Factors such as, the number of issues to resolve, how much you disagree on what it will take to settle, how open you are to try to work things out, your emotions and how well you can communicate. A good mediator will help to clear the air and make dialog much more effective to ease the burden on everyone involved in the dispute.
The mediator usually begins the session with all parties and other participants together. At times the mediator may ask to meet separately (caucus) with each party. Parties may request to meet with the mediator privately at any time during the session.
The mediator facilitates the process so that the parties have every opportunity to brainstorm ideas and then make informed, thoughtful decisions. Mediators do not take sides or decide how a dispute will be resolved. Nor do mediators attempt to find right and wrong. The mediator may suggest possible resolutions, but the parties maintain full control over the outcome, creating solutions which all parties can live with.
It is not necessary to have an solicitor in order to participate in mediation, however either party may choose to do so. solicitor participation cannot distract from the corporative nature of the process.
If a settlement is reached by all parties, the agreement is put in writing, and when signed it is binding upon all parties to the agreement if it needs to be.
What if it doesn’t work? Would it cause me more trouble now that the other side has all the information?
All materials prepared for and matters discussed during mediation are confidential and with few exceptions cannot be used in any subsequent litigation.All information provided to or created by the mediator will be destroyed by the mediator after the conclusion of the mediation.
Mediation saves time and money. Mediation is a much faster route to resolution than litigation. Parties can often resolve their dispute in a matter of days, or even a few hours, depending on the complexity of the dispute, compared to litigation, which can take years. Participants can divide the mediators fees between themselves however they like, versus each party paying an solicitor upwards of 200.00 an hour.
The cost of mediation is far less than taking a dispute to court. Each case is examined and costs determined well before the mediation begins so that everyone knows what to expect. Factors such as the kind of dispute, how much time it takes to resolve it, and whether or not other professionals need to be involved, such as, child counsellors in a emotionally difficult divorce. In most cases the cost to mediate is built into the agreement or divided between the parties.
If all of the parties come to mediation in good faith with a desire to get the issue resolved the chances of success are very high. Most great mediators will consistently have a success rate in excess of 90 percent, illustrating the great power and flexibility of mediation. Experienced mediators are more likely to have the skills and tenacity to bring about a successful outcome. Check out our video page where we give many examples of situations and solutions.
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