The Four Principles of Family Mediation

VOLUNTARY Mediation is a voluntary process Both of you have to want to mediate, and either of you can stop the mediation process at any time.

IMPARTIALITY Mediators are neutral A mediator does not take sides and is there equally for both of you. Mediators will always aim to ensure that both parties feel equally heard and that they have equal time to put forward their interests, their thoughts and their concerns. Mediators have no stake in the outcome of the mediation.

CONFIDENTIALITY Mediation is confidential The information you as a client share with the mediator is kept confidential, with some very limited exceptions (similar to the exceptions that apply to lawyers, therapists and counsellors) and this is explained at the outset. Proposals you may put forward during mediation, verbally or in documented form, cannot be referred to in court proceedings.

If a mediation process isn’t successful and proceedings go to court, all discussions that took place or documents drawn up during the mediation, or reasons for the mediation not ending successfully cannot be revealed to the court. The discussions that take place or any documents that are shared are done so on what is known as a ‘without prejudice’ basis.

SELF-DETERMINATION In mediation you are in charge, you decide what is discussed, you make the decisions, you are in control Mediators do not make decisions and do not give advice. They can however give information and guidance to assist your decision making, explaining what things you should be thinking about, such as child care or financial or legal matters and can point you in the right direction for organisations or other professionals from whom you can independently seek specific advice on any of the relevant issues.