How is mediation different from going to an attorney?
While one of the co-mediators is an attorney, the mediators never give either party any legal advice. It is not their role as mediator to advise the parties. However, the legal mediator can provide you with legal information. If you feel you would benefit from legal advice on your specific position, it is your choice to consult with an attorney, while the mediation process continues.
What does mediation cost?
Each mediation session is between 60 to 90 minutes, and is charged for per hour. The costs of mediation are either shared between the parties, or paid by one of the parties – as agreed between them. Additional costs are incurred for the time spent drafting the minutes of the mediation sessions and the Memorandum of Understanding, and for child interviews and feedback (if this is necessary). Feel free to contact us for an exact breakdown of our fees.
How long does mediation take?
A successful mediation usually takes between 3 and 8 sessions, over a period of one to three months.
Will I still need an attorney?
This is entirely up to you, we do not discourage clients to take advice from an attorney during the mediation process. As the legal mediator does not give either party legal advice, it is your choice to take legal advice on your legal position, so that you feel comfortable knowing that what you are agreeing to in mediation is in line with what you may be entitled to in law.
Will my child/ren be involved in the mediation process?
Most likely, but this will depend on the child/ren’s ages and stage of maturity. At an appropriate stage of your family mediation process, the psychologist mediator will have a child interview with the child/ren individually, to obtain their view. The aim of this session is to provide you, as the parents, with information about your child/ren’s views and to give your child/ren a space to have their voice heard. You, as their parents, can use this information to assist you in your decision making, if you so wish.
Is mediation confidential?
Yes. What is discussed in mediation will remain confidential between the parties and the mediators.
Is mediation without prejudice? What does this mean?
Yes. The mediation process is without prejudice. This means that anything that is discussed and agreed to in mediation is in the pursuit of settlement. You cannot be held or bound by anything agreed to and discussed in mediation, during the litigation procedure (if mediation is unsuccessful). As such, it gives the parties the freedom to negotiate terms in the hope of settlement, without being concerned that a Court will hold them to what was tabled during the mediation. You are only bound to the terms agreed to in mediation when you enter into (sign) a legal agreement, which would be drafted by your attorney(s).
Does mediation work for everyone?
Mediation is not always successful, but this is up to you. In order to have a successful mediation, both parties have to be committed to and invested in resolving the issues in dispute between them. As such, sometimes mediation is entered into at the wrong time, when one party is not yet ready to deal with the issues at hand. We believe that if both parties are committed to the process, then at least some (if not all) of the issues in dispute can be resolved.