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Written by Sarah Quilliam

In this blog, I am focussing on private mediations, rather than those undertaken by community organisations such as UnitingCare or Relationships Australia.

In my experience, your matter has the best chance at settling in a mediation if:

  1. Your matter is ready to be mediated. This means:
    • Narrowing issues in dispute as best as possible, and knowing what you want to achieve at mediation;
    • Exchanging any discoverable documents before the mediation (and preferably well before mediation);
    • Arranging for valuations or appraisals to be undertaken if the value of assets are disputed;
    • Being prepared, mentally and emotionally, to work cooperatively during the mediation process, and being prepared that you may settle for less than what you want or think you should receive (as will the other party).  
  2. You have the right mediator for your matter. There are lots of qualified, experienced and effective mediators available to assist you. The trick is engaging a mediator that will have experience in the right areas, and is a good ‘fit’ for you and the other party. Your lawyer will guide you as to which mediators they think will be best suited for your matter. The cost of mediators does vary as well.

The Covid-19 pandemic should not prevent you from trying to resolve your matter, nor from mediating. Mediators have managed this by utilising video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. We have had many successful mediations over the last 4 months, and there have been some other unexpected benefits to mediating by video, including:

  • A greater sense of security for victims of domestic violence, knowing that the other party is not physically in the same building as them;
  • A savings in costs, as nobody (including the mediator) has to travel. Parties can be connected up separately to their solicitors, and private virtual rooms can be created to allow private discussions between clients and their solicitors.

We are always happy to help you, and we will discuss with you whether you should consider mediation.