A mediation is an excellent way to fast track a settlement in your parenting or property matter.
Mediations follow a similar framework regardless of whether they are parenting or property matters or both.
In mediation with the assistance of legal advice, a mediator is appointed and a date is agreed upon. Both solicitors will prepare an outline of their argument in advance and exchange them prior to the mediation starting.
The mediator will then set the ground rules for the mediation and may invite both parties and their solicitors to discuss each parties’ case. In circumstances of violence throughout the relationship this is not appropriate and the parties may not see each other at all during the mediation as the mediator moves between the parties. This has some benefit even where violence has not been an issue as each party can consider the information provided by the other party in privacy.
One party will then make an opening offer of settlement and negotiations will begin. Hopefully the gap between the two offers will decrease and it will reach a point where everyone will agree. The theory of “a good mediation is one where everyone walks away unhappy” remains useful. It means that both parties have moved from their initial positions and been able to put something on offer that they can live with but certainly wasn’t their first choice.
The benefits of mediation are you have complete control over the outcome of the settlement. No one is coming to a decision for you and if the terms of the offer are completely unacceptable you can walk away. In my experience a mediation always brings the parties closer together and allows the opportunity to consider the other parties point of view which may not be easily conveyed through earlier correspondence. If an agreement is reached then the orders can be finalised and signed on the day and sent to the Court to be made without either party being present.
If you would like more information on mediations and Consent Orders please contact Alison Neville at Blackwell Short on (02) 6393 9200 or email AlisonN@blackwellshort.com.au to make an appointment to discuss your matter with our experienced Family Law team.