Mediation is a voluntary process. It is confidential. Someone who is not involved in the disagreement, the mediator, helps you discuss problems and look for solutions. Most problems can be helped by mediation if people are willing to give it a try.
Frequently asked questions
Mediation is a voluntary process and will cost you nothing.
Mediation is confidential, and is carried out by impartial, specially trained mediators. It is:
- less costly than alternatives
- less stressful than going to court
- a way of enabling the parties involved to keep in control of the situation
- focused on achieving a fair outcome
- time saving in comparison with other ways of resolving disputes
The mediator will meet you either separately or together at an assessment meeting, prior to mediation taking place. The assessment meeting gives you an opportunity to find out more about mediation and also for the mediator to look at your case.
Once you are both happy to go ahead with mediation you will have regular meetings with the mediator until proposals are reached. This usually takes about three to five meetings of an hour and a half each.
The mediator will then draw up a record of your proposals in an agreed format.
In comparison with other routes, mediation is a quick process. Most cases can be dealt with in about three to five meetings in total. The frequency and number of meetings depends on the complexity of the issues being discussed and your own timescales. At the assessment meeting the mediator will be able to give you a clearer idea about how many sessions you may need.
Mediation agreements are not legally binding and rely on the parties themselves to put into effect what they agreed. If required, you can take the mediation proposals to your solicitor for a legally binding agreement to be drawn up.
You can meet the mediators initially in your own home, at their offices or at any chosen venue of your choice.
No - initially the mediators will meet both parties separately with the aim of holding a joint meeting at a mutually agreeable venue.
Yes you can bring someone with you, although they should not interrupt or take part in the mediation.
No, your Neighbourhood Officer will make the referral to the Devon Mediation Service on your behalf.