Balance

Q&A

How long will I have to wait to book a mediation session?

While this depends on our current workload, we do try to see clients as soon as possible and can usually arrange a consultation within a week or two, depending on the day and time you need to meet. We recognise that people in dispute may have urgent issues and endeavour to see you as soon as possible.

Are you able to provide services in the evenings or on weekends?

Yes, depending on the availability of venues.

What if the other person refuses mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process so both parties have to be prepared to attend. In the case of a family mediation involving children, we are required to inform the person who refuses to attend that this may mean the other parent is issued with a certificate under Section 60I of the Family Law Act, which could disadvantage them if the matter were to go to Court.

Does mediation mean I have to sit in the same room as the other person?

No, not always. If this would be too stressful for either party, it can be carried out in separate rooms with the mediator taking messages between you. However, this process is more time consuming.

Who pays for mediation?

In family mediations, it is normal practice for the parents or ex partners to share the costs; however, if one party cannot afford this arrangement, sometimes one person will agree to cover the whole cost of the mediation. Workplace or community mediations are generally covered by the department or business that employs the people concerned or in some cases by HR.

How do you stay impartial if one person is paying your fee?

We ensure that the party who is paying understands that no preference will be given to their options or interests and acceptance of this is a pre-condition of engaging our services.

How much will mediation cost?

The initial telephone consultation to discuss the situation of concern is free of charge. Fees are then charged at an hourly rate because the length of time for the intervention recommended can vary depending on a range of factors. Community and not for profit organisations can contact us regarding the possibility of negotiating a discounted rate.

Can I bring my lawyer, union representative or another support person to the mediation?

Yes, providing all parties agree that a support person will be attending the mediation. If this is the case, the support persons must agree to the conditions of confidentiality and abide by the rules of mediation. They will be asked not to speak for the person and time out can be provided for a private consultation with support people if necessary. If the support is your lawyer, they may input into the mediation on your behalf but must agree not to cross examine or challenge the other party.

What is the process for going to mediation?

Once both parties have agreed to mediation, the best process to assist you with managing the dispute will be determined. This will include a pre-mediation interview with anyone who will be attending the mediation. These conversations are usually face to face although they can be held by telephone if necessary. We will discuss this with you at our initial consultation. Pre-mediation interviews include discussion about key issues for each person in the situation and may also include some coaching on the best ways to raise the issues with the other party.  This often  helps to make the mediation session as constructive as possible. Preparing people for mediation is an important step in achieving the best chance for the mediation session to come to a constructive agreement.