Going to court is a stressful, expensive and time consuming process which requires a tedious amount of work and can lead to a decision being made by a judge that neither party expects or wants. The pre-actions required by the Court before proceedings are filed, is that parties attempt to settle any dispute via negotiation and/or mediation.
Mediation is a process in which an independent party (either a barrister, solicitor, psychologist or family dispute resolution practitioner) helps people identify the issues, those agreed and in dispute, and attempt to come up with a resolution that will offer both parties some satisfaction. Here are a few reasons why couples may want to consider this method:
· It is a cheaper alternative than going to court.
As mentioned above, choosing a mediator to settle disagreements is better for both parties as they are able to negotiate a solution which allows for the best possible outcome between them and there are no extended legal proceedings to pay for. Legal costs are generally borne by each party and extended legal proceedings give rise to stress and reduce the amount of money/assets available to be divided. In some cases, the family home is sold and any profits achieved is divided between the parties solicitors to meet their legal fees if they cannot reach an agreement. This means that there is less available to be shared between them when their matter finalises.
· It is a more flexible procedure.
During the mediation process, the mediator encourages a more open discussion and can suggest more perspectives regarding the problem at hand. Couples may have a more active and versatile discussion regarding the consequences of their desired outcomes and there is a certain satisfaction in being able to ‘have your say’. For many parties, once they have each been able to tell the other their ‘side’, a resolution is not far away.
· It grants the parties more control.
Mediation may end in a result that ultimately allows both parties to agree with the final decision since there is no judge involved in the process. The mediator, unlike the judge, does not choose a side and is simply there for managing and helping both parties aim to understand what may be the best options to resolve their issues.
Mediation offers the parties the ability to fit the solution to their unique circumstances, is quicker than a trial and provides a cheaper and less stressful solution. You can find solicitors to guide you through the separation process and who will discuss with you the stages of finalising your separation, including the steps to take to engage in the mediation process at Marino Lawyers, your trusted family lawyers in Cairns