How can mediation get you a quicker and less stressful resolution?

May 5, 2023

Going through a separation can be an incredibly difficult and emotional time. There are many issues to sort through, including dividing assets, figuring out parenting arrangements for your kids, and deciding on child support. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn for help. However, there is a powerful tool available to you that can help you navigate these issues in a constructive and mutually beneficial way: mediation.

Mediation is a process that allows you and your former partner to work together to reach an agreement on the issues that are important to you. It’s a dispute resolution process that puts you in control of the outcome, and it can help you to move forward in a positive way. Whether you’re going through a property settlement, or a parenting dispute, mediation can be a powerful and empowering option that offers numerous benefits over litigation.

A mediation provides you with an opportunity to maintain control over the outcome. Unlike in court, where a judge makes the final decision, mediation allows you and your former partner to work together to find a solution that meets your unique needs and concerns. This means that you can take ownership of the outcome and feel more satisfied with the final result. People who feel heard and have had input into the outcome, are more likely to follow through with the agreement reached at mediation and find it easier to let go of the past so they can focus on their future and moving forward.

One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it is often less stressful and emotionally draining than going to court. Litigation can be a highly emotional process, with both parties feeling angry, resentful, and upset. The litigation process is combative in nature, the premise of it is that you and your former partner are building your best case and casting doubts and aspersions onto the case of the other party. When you are both in the trenches preparing to throw your best grenades so to speak, you’re less able to work together to find a solution, the level of conflict between you is undoubtedly increasing and your ability to work together to effectively co-parent in the future is quickly fading. In contrast, mediation is a more collaborative and respectful process, which can help to reduce stress and promote a more positive outcome.

Mediation can also be a much faster and less expensive option than going to court. Litigation can be a lengthy and costly process, with no guarantees of a favourable outcome. In contrast, mediation is typically completed within a day, and the cost is often significantly less than that of going to court. This can help you to save both time and money, while still achieving a just and equitable outcome that is within the range of what a court could decide.

What are the key ingredients for a successful mediation?

  1. Experienced and qualified mediator
    The mediator plays a pivotal role in the mediation. The mediator is an impartial expert who helps the parties clarify the issues in dispute and each other’s concerns about each issue and will work with each party to consider the settlement options to resolve those issues, facilitates the negotiations, and will move both parties towards an agreement which, as far as possible, meets the needs of both of parties. It is for this reason, that it is important to ensure that you select a qualified mediator who is experienced dealing with the matters that you and your former partner will be mediating.

    You will also want to understand the mediator’s approach and how they will work with the personalities and the dynamic of you and your partner as well as their ability to deal with any of the emotional roadblocks that may impact on each person’s decision making. These soft skills are just as important and relevant to a successful mediation as their legal expertise.

  2. Confidentiality
    One of the most important aspects of mediation is confidentiality. A cone of silence is wrapped around the whole mediation process so that neither party can disclose the discussions and negotiations that occurred at mediation to a court. This allows for more open and honest communications, as parties are free to explore different settlement options and make concessions without fear of those statements being used against them in the future.
  3. Voluntary participation
    It is important that all parties involved in the mediation process participate voluntarily and without coercion. Parties must be willing to engage in the process and work to reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
  4. Good faith negotiations
    Both parties must come to the mediation with a willingness to negotiate in good faith. This means being open to making compromises and finding solutions that will move you both closer to a final outcome. It also means committing to the process by coming prepared and ready to mediate and providing any information and documents that have been requested by the mediator or the other party.
  5. Communication
    Communication is the key to a successful mediation, and extends beyond what you are saying, it includes how you say, the reasons behind it and whether it will be helpful or productive to the discussions. When both parties take the time to actively listen to the other person’s perspective and concerns, they open themselves up to considering and addressing those concerns as part of the negotiations. This in turn focuses the discussions to what is meaningful and constructive to reaching a mutually acceptable agreement
  6. PatienceA mediation can be emotionally draining and stressful as you are being asked to make concessions and comprises, consider the other person’s perspective and concerns, and having to consider and make decisions, sometimes in a short period of time. Sometimes, one person may need longer to think through the offers and formulate their response. It is in these moments that patience will help you avoid becoming frustrated with the process and will help you to understand that this means the other person is taking the time to make thoughtful decisions that will help move you both forward to an outcome.
  7. FlexibilityA successful mediation requires a degree of flexibility and creativity. When you open yourself up to being flexible, you will put yourself in the mindset where you can consider a range of options and alternative solutions to the issues that you may not have considered before. Sometimes, the best, mutually beneficial outcomes are achieved through flexible and creative thinking about how to address the issues, concerns and needs of both parties.
  8. PreparationIf you fail to prepare, then be prepared to fail. Both parties will be able to have meaningful and intentional discussions and negotiations if both have taken the time to prepare before the mediation.

    In a property mediation, the parties should come knowing what each other’s assets, liabilities and financial resources are, be clear on any gaps that need to be provided to assist with the discussions, know their borrowing capacity if they want to keep the house and understand their financial needs.

    In a parenting mediation, the parties should be prepared to discuss the children’s routine and commitments, each parent’s work commitments and any other issues that are relevant to their children and family.

At a time when trust between you and your former partner may be low, mediation can be a powerful and empowering tool for resolving family law disputes. It puts you in control of the outcome, is often faster and less expensive than going to court and can help to reduce stress and promote positive communication.

With these tips in mind, you can select a pathway to resolution that not only gives you the best chances (statistically and realistically) to getting an agreement, but you’ll also have the opportunity to create a foundation for you and your Ex to rebuild trust and prepare to move forward.

So, if you’re considering how best to move out of uncertainty and feeling stuck, mediation is a great option to move towards a resolution that supports you to live the life you’re wanting in your next chapter. If you’re wanting to learn more, reach out to us to get guidance about the legal process, your options and to map out a strategic plan that moves you forward.

Our expert team of family lawyers would love to help you to move toward the life and future you want to build with clarity and confidenceBook your strategic planning session today or download our helpful free resources.


This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or any other professional advice.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

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