A mediation is a confidential process in which two parties appoint an independent third party to assist them to find common ground and reach a mutually beneficial outcome. The mediator’s role is to facilitate discussion between the two parties and understand areas of concern and encourage both sides to explore options to resolve their dispute.
The mediator is neutral and does not take sides and does not give legal advice.As a facilitator, a mediator does not have the authority to make legally binding decisions, however if the parties wish to formalise an agreement at the mediation, legally binding documents can be drafted with the assistance of the mediator to conclude the dispute.
The advantages of mediation:
● Time - disputes can be resolved faster through mediation rather than seeking an outcome through filing proceedings with the court. Presently, parties wishing to file an application with the court in property settlement matters are having to wait approximately 2 - 3 years before a final hearing is allocated.
● Costs – the costs involved with achieving a positive outcome through mediation are considerably less than those involved with lengthy court proceedings.
● Confidentiality – the mediation process is private and confidential and nothing discussed throughout the entire mediation can be used against a party should court proceedings commence at a later stage. This encourages both parties to ‘put their best foot forward’ and propose their best ideas to resolve the dispute.
● Decision making –the mediation process allows the parties to control the outcome of the dispute by placing the decision-making power in their hands, as opposed tolitigation wherethe court is ultimately required to make a judgment.
● Agreement – mediation allows the parties to formalise an agreement at the end of the process should they wish to do so.
The mediation process:
1. Initial phone contact. At this stage we will take initial details from the parties and arrange for a suitable time for an intake session to be undertaken.
2. Intake session. Prior to any mediation we will undertake an intake session in which we will gather information and screen the parties for their suitability to proceed to mediation. Intake sessions run for approximately 30 minutes and can be done through either telephone or Zoom.
3. Mediation. Mediations can be organised by either the parties or their legal representatives and are typically undertaken over a period of either half a day or a full day. Should the parties require, we can provide rooms to facilitate any mediation.
4. Formalising an agreement. Should the parties wish to do so, we will assist in drafting legally binding documents to formalise an agreement and conclude the mediation.
Matthew Buckley – Nationally Accredited Mediator.
Matthew is a Nationally Accredited Mediator registered with the Australian Mediation Association. As an experienced family lawyer appearing regularly in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Matthew has extensive experience in dealing with complex property settlement matters.
Matthew is heavily involved with community engagement and is passionate about facilitating productive dialogue and finding positive outcomes for parties in dispute. He also has a strong commercial understanding and is an advocate for mediation ahead of potentially lengthy court litigation. All mediations are conducted on a fixed-fee basis.
Contact Matthew on 0415 604 593 to discuss whether your dispute should proceed to mediation.