Mediation is a without prejudice process in which clients meet with a neutral third party to help negotiate issues. Mediators are usually senior family lawyers with specific training. The mediator facilitates the negotiation, by managing your expectations and emotions, and helping you to analyze the risks of not reaching a negotiated settlement. In effect, the mediator helps you have a conversation about what needs to be resolved. Your lawyers can attend mediation sessions, and often do if complex financial issues are involved. Mediation is an option, even if court proceedings have started.
You will be encouraged to explore any ideas you may have about resolution of the issues. If you do not reach an agreement, information produced in the mediation and offers to settle may not be disclosed in court proceedings.
Mediation will often be a less expensive and faster process than litigation. Where you need to interact with another parent to care for your children, mediation is a good option as it can help you to maintain or rebuild a functional parenting relationship.
Carla has been studying mediation since 1991, and is a Law Society certified family law mediator. Over the years, she has assisted many clients to reach mediated settlements.