What is a mediator? Are they qualified legal practitioners?
A mediator is an impartial third party who is qualified by one of the recognised mediation authorities to conduct mediation relating to family issues. The mediator will facilitate discussions between you and your ex-partner to try and resolve various issues to include arrangements for the children, who is to issue the divorce petition (if relevant) and financial arrangements. Mediation can be used in various contexts to include family separation (married or unmarried), interim financial arrangements, long term financial arrangements etc.
There are mediators who are also qualified Solicitors / Legal Executives. There are also mediators who are not legally qualified.
Is mediation confidential?
Mediation is confidential although any information passed from one party to the mediator must be disclosed to the other party. The mediator is not entitled to disseminate any information relating to your case to any third party, to include your respective Solicitors. Confidentiality can be waived by both parties if information is required to be given to your Solicitors.
How is mediation different from going to Court?
Mediation is a means by which two (or more) individuals can sit round a table to discuss their issues and to air their views about any particular problem. The mediator will assist you to try and reach a solution to your problems. Mediation is significantly cheaper than going to Court and empowers you to make your own decisions rather than asking a Judge to make the decision for you.
How can a mediator help me and my family?
A mediator can assist in various family issues to include arrangements for the children, disputes about property (unmarried separating couples), interim financial arrangements and long term financial arrangements. A mediator can address any family issue that you need to resolve. The outcome of mediation is not binding on either party and, very often, it is necessary for the parties to instruct their Solicitors to put forward their proposals to effect a binding agreement.