Advantages of Mediation

Saving in legal costs

The advocate’s role will usually be confined to giving advice, since all the negotiations are carried out in the mediation. To enable you to make informed decisions in mediation you need to have an idea of the best and worst possible case scenarios if your dispute were to go to court. With this background advice you can be confident that the proposals you make together in the hope of reaching a settlement are fair and reasonable. At the end of the mediation, you will need an advocate to make sure that you fully understand the implications of the settlement reached. Even if there is no final agreement you will return to your advocate with financial disclosure which has been exchanged between you on an open basis, thus saving your advocate a good deal of work. Your outstanding issues will at least have been clarified and possibly narrowed down, again saving your advocate some work.

Reduction in hostility
Litigation can be expensive and confrontational. Mediation enables couples to incorporate into their settlement factors that are outside the remit of the court. In family disputes it can often be in the interest of the parties to maintain a cordial relationship, which mediation encourages and litigation tends to discourage. The mediated settlement is likely to be acceptable to both parties, whereas a judicially imposed resolution could leave neither party particularly content. Even when mediation is not wholly successful couples may of course reach agreement on some issues, but not others. In financial mediation, financial disclosure will have been provided, at least in part. In the case of child centred mediation a greater level of awareness of each others' position will have been reached. This may promote a better understanding between parents.

Saving of time
The mediation process tends to be completed in a shorter time than litigation. Occasionally, a couple will have complex issues and in such instances the mediation would take longer. The exact timescale is difficult to predict since so much depends on each individual situation. The sessions each last between one and one and a half hours. We usually anticipate between 2 and 4 sessions but sometimes it can be less and sometimes more. The probable length of mediation is always fully discussed at the outset. Research has shown that most couples reach agreement in mediation in a third of the time it would take if they negotiated the same agreement through solicitors.

Safe environment
Mediation can only be conducted in good faith and on an open basis. Mediation is a voluntary process, and clients should feel secure and not under any form of pressure before, during, or after mediation sessions. It is the responsibility of the Mediator to ensure that meetings are conducted in a way that provides an environment where both parties feel able to discuss issues and concerns confidentially and in a safe and structured way. Clients can always raise concerns about abuse in confidence with the mediator at the introductory meeting. If the mediator takes the view at any stage that a client is in immediate need of protection, then the mediation will be terminated and the client advised to return to his or her solicitor. In some cases, however, past abuse may be viewed as unlikely to recur once circumstances are improved. In such cases, continuing in mediation can further reduce tension and improve communication.

Package of benefits
Communication is increased
Stress is reduced
Decisions are made together rather than imposed from outside
The process is constructive rather than destructive
Solutions are reached more quickly
Costs are reduced
We work towards a Win-Win solution rather that there being a “winner” and a “looser”
Manx Mediation Network