Mediation is a flexible, speedy and cost effective way to resolve a dispute.
It is a confidential process that enables both parties to explain and then discuss what their needs and concerns are to each other in the presence of an independent third party – the mediator – so that they can reach an agreement between themselves.
The individuals concerned have greater control of the outcome in resolving their disagreement than if they went to court.
Mediation empowers parties to control the length of the process, the issues they would like to discuss, and the outcome. Mediation can also be less stressful, particularly for any children involved, and in the long run, can be cheaper than going to court.
The role of the mediator is to help parties explore their options to reach a solution to their problem by facilitating an outcome that both parties are happy to accept.
Mediators do not take sides, they do not make judgements, they do not provide advice or guidance. The mediators are simply responsible for developing effective communications and building consensus between the parties. The focus of a mediation meeting is to reach a settlement that is agreeable to both parties in any dispute.
Mediation is a voluntary process and will only take place if both parties agree.
It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing.
If parties are unable to reach agreement, they can still go to court. Details about what went on at the mediation will not be disclosed or used at a court hearing.
Both parties share the cost of mediation, the cost of which will depend on the value and complexity of the claim.