We all have some issues that are difficult to resolve between two parties. Sometimes there is a deep emotional wound that is blocking communication and this can stifle any hope of a solution between parties. This is where mediation comes in. Mediation is the process by which an unbiased accredited and highly trained third party will help the conflicting parties communicate and, hopefully, come to an agreement. DIPAC explains what mediation is, its benefits, and the cases it’s most suitable for. This will help you to determine if you need mediation or not.
DIPAC offers mediation services for the Canberra, Queanbeyan and ACT region from our offices at Level 1-18 The Realm, National Circuit, Barton, ACT, 2600. If you would like to see a mediator in Canberra or just want to talk to someone, we can help. Call today on: 02 6198 3423 or complete our contact form.
As mentioned above, mediation is a process by which two conflicting parties turn to a neutral third party. The third party, the mediator, helps the two parties communicate and reach an agreement by mutual consent. The mediator will:
- Aim to facilitate understanding between the two parties
- Help identify interests and needs
- Deploy problem-solving to help reach an agreement.
However, mediation is not like a court or arbitration. This means that mediation will not enforce a solution upon the conflicting parties. Consequently, if there is no resolution between the two parties, the dispute will remain.
Mediation allows the conflicting parties more control over the handling of their dispute and exists as an alternative to formal legal action. This informal and flexible format also allows for a greater range of solutions than would be available in a court or legal proceeding. Further, according to the Australian Mediation Association, mediation is incredibly effective and settles over 85% of disputes between conflicting parties.
In addition to the format and effectiveness of mediation, there are also financial benefits. Mediation is more affordable than legal action and does not require a solicitor to be present. What’s more, mediation tends to be an efficient process. Most mediation proceedings are settled after the first few sessions, with a solution finalised within thirty days of the original session.
Finally, the nature of mediation allows for the two parties to continue their relationship, as mediation facilitates direct communication between two parties and requires a solution that is mutually agreed upon. The mediator will be aware of behavioural issues that may be hampering an agreement. Subsequently, the mediator will aim to set ground rules for discussion between parties or an ‘expected behavioural style’. This allows for better conversation to take place, while also preserving and, hopefully, allowing a relationship between the two parties to continue.
Mediation is an informal process without the stress and anxiety of litigation or a court case. Consequently, mediation is very common in domestic relations cases. For instance, in a case surrounding child visitation rights, custody, or divorce. In some cases, a judge may even order mediation in order to facilitate a speedier solution. In addition to cases of child visitation or divorce, mediation is also suitable for family members locked in conflict. For sentence, some family members may disagree over the medical treatment or living arrangements of an elderly relative. Further, the efficient and effective nature of mediation also allows it to work well in settling will disputes.