What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties without going through the legal system. Family Dispute Resolution also known as Family Mediation is a specialist form of mediation for Family Law Disputes relating to children, property settlements, divorce and child support.

Typically, a mediator assists both parties to work together to reach a shared agreement. Unlike the legal process, a resolution is not made by a magistrate and imposed on one or both parties. If the parties involved do not agree on a shared outcome, the dispute remains unresolved.

The role of The Mediation Centre is not to pass judgment or to give legal advice. We act as a neutral third party who facilitate, rather than direct, open discussion. We use a combination of various techniques to improve the dialogue between you and the other party (or parties), discuss potential solutions and, hopefully, agree upon a solution.

The mediation process is confidential. The Mediation Centre provides a private, comfortable space for mediation sessions. Your privacy is guaranteed – there is no court reporting, and no transcriptions or recordings made.

As mediators we have a strict Code of Conduct to which we must adhere.  The Mediation Centre goes to great lengths to ensure your privacy, although some exceptions do apply for issues involving child abuse or criminality.

The Mediation Centre and its Mediators are selected providers of Family Dispute Resolution Services by the Attorney General’s Department.

What is the process?

The Mediation Centre approaches every case individually, employing various techniques depending upon the circumstances and the parties involved. We like to think of ourselves as facilitators of creative problem-solving!

The first thing we do with all disputes is to ascertain the suitability for mediation and, if so, the type of mediation required.

A session is then scheduled at an agreed date and time. A mediation session generally takes between two and three hours. With many cases, a resolution can be reached after one session. Multiple sessions are sometimes required for more complicated matters.

Although mediation is a trained discipline, there are no formal requirements for a typical session. During our sessions, we will generally ensure the following steps are worked through.

  • Establishment of, and agreement to, ground rules for the mediation
  • Each party presents their story and their perspective
  • Together, we identify the core issues
  • Together, we identify the objectives of each party
  • Together, we search for a variety of options and possible solutions
  • Together, we discuss possible solutions
  • Together, we work through, adjust and refine the proposed solutions to move closer to a resolution
  • Together, we agree on solutions, and
  • Together, we record the agreement in writing.

Because we ensure each mediation session caters specifically to not only the individual needs of those involved but also the nature of the dispute, the approaches we take will vary. Regardless of the techniques we employ, The Mediation Centre ultimately aims to:

  • Facilitate open communication between everyone involved
  • Promote shared understanding of core issues
  • Assist each party to identify their needs and interests, and
  • Use creative problem-solving techniques to enable agreement.

Mediation is the most self-empowering method of resolving a dispute. Unlike the legal system, we don’t have one authority ‘imposing’ a solution on you.

The Mediation Centre facilitates discussion, but the ultimate control lies with those involved.

If all parties do not agree on a solution, the dispute remains unresolved.

We would love to hear from you.

Please call our friendly staff on 0247 616 930 for further information or to make a positive step towards resolving your dispute.