Mediation is a confidential decision making process where parties to a dispute or disagreement work together with the assistance of an independent third party to resolve their differences and attempt to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement.
The mediator is completely neutral and non-judgemental and their role is to ensure the parties have the ability to express their views and concerns in a safe setting. The mediator uses questions to help parties clarify their views and explore possibilities for a solution. The mediator does not make any decisions, the parties have complete control over their resolution.
How long does a Mediation process take?
A typical Mediation session will take about three hours but they vary greatly depending on the complexity of the topic. Some Mediations require more than one session to fully cover the concerns of the parties.
When can Mediation help?
Mediation can assist in many disputes with many topics. The key aspect is for the parties to want to enter the Mediation process in “good faith” meaning they are committed to reaching an acceptable solution to the dispute and will do so in an honest and respectful manner.
Mediation can be useful at all stages of a dispute:
- before a dispute has happened but when clarity is needed
- after negotiation has failed but the parties are keen to avoid taking the dispute into legal avenues.
- when the parties have tried other avenues to resolution but have not had success to date.
- after a resolution is achieved in the dispute but there is going to be an ongoing relationship and the parties are keen “to clear the air” and develop a good ongoing situation.
Is any agreement reached legally binding?
If the parties reach agreement on any of the issues and they sign that agreement, then it is a legally binding contact.