Mediation and Arbitration Services
Dispute resolution processes such as mediation and arbitration can avoid the need for parties to commence court proceedings, and may provide viable, cost-effective alternatives for resolving a legal dispute.
Mediation involves a neutral person (the mediator) meeting with the parties to a dispute and assisting them to reach a resolution. Generally, the meeting is confidential, and the mediator does not provide legal advice nor does he or she determine the dispute. This process is best used when the parties are willing to negotiate in good faith and make genuine attempts to resolve the matter.
Mediation can be used across various areas of law and can have many benefits, namely:
- The location, date and time for mediation is determined by agreement between the parties and mediator, as opposed to a court timetable – an agreement may therefore be achieved quicker and cheaper.
- Mediation is less formal than court proceedings and there is a lower threshold for evidentiary formalities. It can therefore be less daunting than going to court, enabling parties to explore different ways to resolve their matter than what may be available through a court hearing and orders.
- Mediation can help preserve the parties’ relationship which is particularly beneficial when they will have an ongoing affiliation and need for communication, for example, matters concerning children after separation.
- Where mediation does not entirely resolve a dispute, it can assist in narrowing the issues between the parties, allowing a more focused approach to identify and resolve the actual problems.
Arbitration involves a professional person with expertise in a particular area (the arbitrator) making a decision that is generally binding, after hearing submissions and evidence from each party to a dispute. Arbitration may be ordered in certain areas of law or consented to by the parties.
Family Dispute Resolution
If you have separated from your spouse or partner, you will know the emotion and practical issues involved when dividing property and arranging for the ongoing care of children. Family Dispute Resolution is a mediation service that assists separating couples to reach agreement regarding such matters.
Family Dispute Resolution is conducted by accredited and registered practitioners and is offered by individuals or through Family Relationships Centres and other community organisations. It is usually mandatory before separated parties can file court proceedings about parenting matters.
Unresolved legal disputes cause turmoil for all parties involved, with separation recognised as one of the most stressful events in life, making it difficult to agree on major decisions, let alone find neutral ground for trivial matters. Family dispute resolution can help resolve such matters with the assistance of a neutral mediator and the guidance of your lawyer.
Mediation and arbitration can be used to resolve a range of legal issues without the need to attend court. It is generally a more efficient way of dealing with matters of conflict and any agreement reached can be documented through consent orders which are legally binding. Campbell & Co. Lawyers also offer Mediation and Arbitration services to external parties with their qualified Mediator and Arbitrator, Barbara Campbell. Contact us to enquire about Barb’s availability and rates for this service.