Mediation: Part 1
Rather than rushing to court to fight with your partner over financial matters, just take the time to consider attending a mediation session with your partner and ideally with your lawyers to discuss a suitable way forward.
What is mediation?
What does this mean in practical terms?
Quite simply it is part of the toolbox of strategies called alternate dispute resolution designed to allow you and your partner to discuss the issues and discuss in a non hostile confrontational environment with the assistance of a third party who is not aligned to either of you.
Who should attend
Not all cases are suitable for mediation however and the selected mediator will interview each of the parties to determine if you are suitable candidates. For example high levels of hostility may mean that there is an imbalance of power between the partners and this will mean difficulty in adopting any degree of flexibility to achieve an amicable outcome.
Who is a suitable mediator for you?
Mediators are not a situation of one size fits all. They come in all shapes and sizes according to their level of expertise and accreditation. You should consider the expertise of the candidate you are considering and the qualifications, their costs, the ability to arrange a mediation quickly, style, privacy and confidentiality.
How to prepare
You must look at the overall situation confronting you. Do not just look at the hole in the middle of the donut. So, for example:
- What information do you need to provide to your partner?
- What information do you need from your partner?
- What are your current and future financial needs?
- Are children involved and if so where will they live?
- What are your options?
- Do you have a plan A and then if that is not met an alternate strategy?
- What do you think your partners needs may be for the future and how can you adapt your needs to accommodate your partners?
- How best can your present your case? Or how best should you present facts and figures to your lawyer to portray your goals?