Mediation

"Over 30 years, I have helped countless couples through the separation process."

“I help everyone, regardless of age, culture, sexual orientation. For me, the most important thing is to achieve an outcome that gives my clients the confidence to move on in life.”

Michael Maguire

Montage-3

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (Mediator) assists two people in conflict to:

  • identify their issues, needs and desired outcomes,
  • raise and review potential options and solutions,
  • negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement.

 

A mediation usually takes about 5 hours and each person will be given the chance to have their say.  Mediation is not about deciding who is right or wrong, or making decisions based on what has happened in the past.  It is about supporting & enabling each person equally to resolve their present issues and come to a mutually acceptable agreement.

 

Michael treats each person, in every situation, with respect and dignity.

He is passionate about helping separating couples reach their own agreement quickly and effectively through mediation, and always with the best interests of any children involved at heart.

Our mediation process

1. Contact us & find out how we can help

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During your initial phone enquiry I will ask you to briefly explain your individual circumstances to help me understand how I can help.  I need to know about any children involved, the amount of shared property and the level of conflict between you.

 

When I understand your circumstances, I may suggest booking a mediation session, or if your situation is more complex, refer you to a reputable Lawyer if you don’t already have one.

 

If mediation is right for you, I’ll tell you more about our process, the turnaround time and fees due at each stage.

If you are happy to proceed I will ask you to complete our online Booking Form .  We will then send you an invoice for Step 2 – Invitation to Mediate.  Even if both parties have already agreed to participate we still need to go through this process.  If you have any questions please contact us.

2. Invitation to Mediate

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I’ll contact you to work out three preferred dates for your Mediation.

 

I will then issue an invitation to your ex-partner to attend a mediation session.

If they agree to attend mediation:

  • I will confirm the mediation date, time and venue
  • I will email an invoice for upfront payment for Step 3 – Intake Session.

 

If they refuse to attend mediation:

  • I can give you a Section 60I Certificate to take to your lawyer. This certificate proves that you have attempted to undergo mediation, which then allows you to start legal proceedings, if necessary.

3. Intake Session: Telephone discussion about your circumstances

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I’ll set up a time to call you and then your ex-partner to hear your sides of the story and talk through your individual situations.  Each phone call takes up to an hour.  I’ll also talk you through the mediation session itself, and what to expect.

 

Things we might discuss:

  • Are there children involved, how many and what age?
  • How are your children coping?
  • What is the extent of shared property, and is the value of that property clear?
  • Are there any family or domestic violence orders in place?
  • What is the level of conflict between you and your partner
  • How well are you communicating?

 

After the Intake Session I will email you both:

  • Confirming the mediation date and time, plus information about the venue.
  • an invoice for upfront payment for Step 4. Mediation.

 

If your ex-partner changes their mind and refuses to attend mediation:

  • I can give you a Section 60I Certificate to take to your lawyer.

3a. Pre-Mediation Coaching Session (Optional)

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A mediation is complete in a number of hours.  However the agreements you make during those few hours will have a major impact on your happiness and quality of life over many years to come.

 

It can be very stressful and emotionally difficult to be in the same room or even just near an ex-partner if you are in conflict.  Such stressful environments make it very difficult to think things through and make well considered decisions that you will be happy with over the long term.  While it’s very important to be able to make compromises and come to agreement, you must ensure that you have considered the implications of the compromises you are making.

 

We offer an optional one hour coaching session over the telephone to help you prepare yourself to make the right decisions under stress and get the best mediation outcome possible that will be workable over the long term.

 

During the coaching sessions we will go through the mediation process in more detail so you understand what will happen and outline the kind of information that will be discussed.

 

We will help you work through strategies to prepare for the mediation including:

Preparing for family/ parenting mediation

  • Identify the issues underlying the conflict.
  • What would you like to talk about during the mediation session?
  • What would be your desired outcome?
  • What outcome would you be happy to settle for if compromise was involved?
  • Find out what the guidelines for child care arrangements are, depending on age.

Preparing for Property mediation

  • Compile a list of all assets and liabilities, along with their approximate value.
  • What would be your desired outcome?
  • What outcome would you be happy to settle for if compromise was involved?

4. Mediation

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The mediation session itself normally takes about 4 to 5 hours – usually from around 9.30am until 3 or 4pm.  The length will depend on the number of issues raised and the general complexity.  The session takes place in private meeting rooms either at your lawyer’s office or another suitable meeting venue and catering can be supplied, if desired.

 

During the mediation Michael will speak with you together and/or separately to ensure all your individual issues, concerns and expectations are raised.

Michael will then guide the discussion and help you investigate potential mutually agreeable options and solutions, leading to agreements for your property and /or parenting arrangements.

 

The issues you need to resolve at your mediation will be specific to your circumstances, however we find that typical agenda items include:

 

Typical Parenting mediation issues:

  • Daily issues such as changeover.
  • Where the child will go to school
  • Who they will be with during school holidays & birthdays
  • Discipline
  • Aftercare / sports activities / other extra-curricular activities
  • Religious education
  • General financial responsibility for the children (eg for misc items)
  • Specific child health issues and requirements

 

If an agreement is reached, Michael will:

  • help you create a ‘Parenting Plan’ (when your agreement is written, signed and dated)
  • where required, refer you to an experienced Lawyer to have your ‘Parenting Plan’ formalized into Consent Orders.

 

Typical Property Mediation issues:

 

  • Identifying the pool of assets
  • Reaching agreement about the value of those assets
  • Recognize the various types of contribution to the build-up of those assets
  • Recognising the differing financial needs of you both after separation.
  • Deciding on a fair way to distribute the assets between you.
  • Formulating a Heads of Agreement

 

If an agreement is reached, Michael will;

  • refer you to a Lawyer to formalize your agreement into a Consent Order or Financial Agreement so that your agreement will become binding.

What happens if we can’t agree in mediation?

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If there is no agreement reached at your Parenting or Property mediation, options include:

  • issuing a Section 60-I Certificate (Parenting Mediations only)
  • refer you to separate lawyers to get further legal advice
  • rescheduling a further mediation

 

Refer to our Separation Page for information on what happens next if you can’t agree.

 

Ready to make a booking?

If you have already spoken with Michael and are ready to make a booking please click the button below and complete the Booking Form.

Click here for bookings