Lawyer Assisted Mediation

What is lawyer-assisted mediation?

In a lawyer-assisted mediation the parties attend with their lawyers, who provide advice and draft up any agreements that are reached. This process allows each of the parties to access on-the-spot advice and agreements can be negotiated much more quickly than by letters going back and forth. It is also a good option for a party who requires some support to negotiate on an equal footing with their ex-partner. The format of a lawyer-assisted mediation depends on the needs of the parties. For example, each of their parties may attend by Zoom or Microsoft Teams from their solicitor's offices in different locations or the parties, their lawyers and the mediator might meet in one location that has break-out rooms for private discussions. 

How does it work?

The process begins with each party (not their lawyer) outlining their priorities and goals. The mediator then draws up an agenda of issues for discussion. At each stage, the parties are able to take breaks to obtain confidential legal advice from their lawyers. If agreements are reached, the solicitors are able to draft up documents to lock-in the agreements, on the spot. Alternatively, for more complex situations, the agreements can be drafted into Consent Orders, that are then filed in the Family Court for consideration by a Registrar in Chambers. This bypasses the need for Court proceedings, whilst ensuring that the agreements are binding on both parties. 

Why choose lawyer-assisted mediation?

It's cheap, quick and allows you to make decisions that meet the needs of you and your family. Lawyer-assisted mediation is also useful if there are complex issues or there is a lot at stake. Having your lawyer there, means you can take advice on the spot and discuss matters with their help. If you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship or a coercive and controlling relationship, a lawyer assisted-mediation can give you the support you need to speak up for yourself and to take control of your family law matter. Similarly, if your separation was due to infidelity or one party is still in the grief phase of separation, a lawyer-assisted mediation can assist both parties to focus on the future rather than rehashing the past. Even if the matter is not fully resolved, lawyer-assisted mediation can also be useful in narrowing the issues in dispute, which means that you save on legal costs.