Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process which aims to resolve disputes in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The mediation process allows those involved in a dispute to meet with an independent third party, known as a mediator and genuinely attempt to reach a resolution prior to court proceedings.
The mediator plays a crucial role in mediation, acting as a neutral person responsible for ensuring that parties have an opportunity to communicate their goals, issues and desires to reach a resolution across a wide range of disputes. The additional benefit is that all discussions within mediation are kept confidential.
Mediation has cemented itself as a successful step in resolving disputes across various areas of law including but not limited to family law matters such as property settlement and neighbourhood disputes.
Further, parties are able to participate in mediation in public formats, such as community justice centres or privately through mediation centres. Therefore, the timeline for when parties can meet to discuss their dispute may vary as per the avenue they select.
What are the benefits?
Mediation is known for the many benefits it offers to parties of a dispute. Such benefits include:
- Cost effectiveness: Mediation is more cost effective than Court proceedings;
- Informality: The informal nature of mediation allows people to feel more comfortable negotiating and discussing the issue at hand;
- Preservation of Relationships: If both parties are willing, mediation may also preserve the relationship of the parties in comparison to Court proceedings given the cooperative nature of mediation being less adversarial than Court;
- Time efficiency: The Court process is often time heavy and may take several weeks, month or even years to achieve a Court Order. As such, mediation gives the opportunity for a matter to be settled in a time effective manner;
- Varying Agreements: Often when a matter is brought before a court, a Court is limited in their ability to customise agreements and Orders. Mediation allows for both parties to customise and modify their agreement to best suit the circumstances of the parties.
What happens if it doesn’t work?
Often once a resolution is agreed upon by the parties, it can then be formalised in writing and upheld as an agreement, however if a resolution is not achieved, parties can commence Court proceedings, depending on the nature of the matter.
If you are experiencing a dispute that you need assistance in resolving, please contact Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers on (02) 4647 7577 to book an initial appointment so we may assess your legal options for dispute resolution.
If you have any questions or for further information contact:
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.