• Cooperative, Amicable
• You are in Control of process
• Private & Confidential (comfortable office)
• You Control Length of Time (months)
• Expense: You Control
• Fair, Objective, Compassionate
• Give and Take • See Both Sides
• Compassionate, Empathetic
• You are Educated & Guided
• Concern for Children’s Best Interests
• Less Stress
• Work Together
• Comfortable Environment
• Addresses Future Issues, Relationship
• Sensible & Responsible Negotiation
• Ongoing Working Relationship with Spouse and Children

The essence of mediation

The essence of mediation is that it involves an impartial third party who creates a safe space within which one is able to explore different solutions to bring about a negotiated agreement acceptable to the disputing parties. It is a space where the parties are able to communicate their frustrations, insecurities, concerns, needs, dissatisfactions wishes and desires. it is a quick and comparative inexpensive process which is conducted on a without prejudice basis and is confidential in nature. The process re-orientates parties towards each other without imposing rules or outcomes on them but rather enabling the parties to be more involved in the process of resolution, helping the parties to achieve a new and shared perception of their relationship which will then re-direct their attitudes and dispositions towards each other.

Mediation avoids the win/lose situation of the adversarial system thereby bringing about a greater sense of satisfaction and closure than a resolution which is imposed upon them by a court or uninvolved third party. Proponents of mediation on a deeper level also opine that mediation has the ability to transform disputing parties into more psychologically and morally aware people. This it does by offering disputants a space where many different issues and aspects are confronted and dealt with thus bringing about self determination and empowerment as the parties are directly involved in the process and are not able to hide behind their lawyers.

Mediation promises disputing parties the opportunity to participate actively and directly in their own process within which they are able to bring about the resolution to their dispute, to control the process by deciding on the issues to be resolved, determining their discussions, creating and exploring different options for settlement which would otherwise not be open to them in the adjudicative process and most importantly to control the final outcome of the dispute. It takes the power and control out of the hands of third parties and firmly places it in their own hands. It enables parties to achieve a sense of their own value and strength and self actualization to resolve their problems. It also evokes in the parties an acknowledgment and empathy for the situation and problems of the others. Mediation therefore solves more than the mere legal problems arising from the breakdown of the relationship - it helps people to identify, empathize, sympathize and acknowledge the human and emotional problems and leads to more interconnectedness and tolerance between people and thus a stronger, more acceptable and effective resolution.

There are various types of mediation which are used which all have the same fundamental goal – the self-determination of the parties.

The various approaches are:
Pure Mediation – in this process, the mediator merely acts as a neutral third party who facilitates communication between the parties - the mediator does not evaluate, judge or propose solutions.
Transformative Mediation – here the mediator skillfully leads the parties to a higher level of discussion enabling the parties to see both their and their partner's perspectives and coming to a solution.
Facilitative Mediation – here the mediator becomes more involved between the parties and facilitates ideas for creative solutions by probing and guiding the parties – similar to that of a counselor.

These approaches all are individual-orientated rather than legally-orientated.

Evaluative Mediation - Evaluative and settlement orientated mediators are goal-orientated to resolve the dispute by using more interventionist techniques eg – strength and weaknesses of each party, power-imbalances, commenting on court decisions applicable to the dispute. These mediators put forward settlement proposals and may even urge and pressure parties to settle a matter.

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