Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that is voluntary and confidential. A third party, the mediator, will be appointed to assist the parties with discussing their differences and guiding them to a mutually acceptable solution. There are two types of mediation:
- Counsel-led mediation which involves each party present with their lawyers and a qualified Court appointed mediator.
- Judge-led mediation is led by a Family Court Judge
Mediation allows for both parties sides to be heard and discussed and if possible, reach agreement on some or all of them. The mediator will find options that provide mutually acceptable solutions. If agreement can be reached on all or some of the issues then this will be recorded in an agreement. However, each side will be given a chance to discuss the agreement with their lawyer before signing it.
What are round-table conferences?
Round-table conferences are an alternative dispute resolution method. They are confidential and take place with each party attending the conference around a round table. A family dispute resolution practitioner runs the conference and each party will have a lawyer with them to give them legal advice on the discussions. The format will vary with round table conferences but each party is normally given the chance to express their view and the dispute resolution practitioner will assist in helping the parties come to a solution they are both happy with. Round-table conferences are a cost effective form of dispute resolution and an alternative worth considering to avoid going to Court.
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