Do I need a lawyer to mediate?

The short answer is no.  Both parties can mediate with or without a lawyer present. 

If parties agree to mediate without lawyers, we do recommend they obtain legal advice as to their rights and entitlements before mediation.  However, this is not compulsory.

If parties choose to use lawyers the same mediation process is followed, the format does not vary.  Some parties prefer their lawyers to do a lot of the negotiating.  Other parties prefer to talk themselves.

If you have a lawyer present, your lawyer can provide you legal advice about the proposals that are being made during the mediation and advice about how any agreement you reach can be worded and drafted.

However, it is not the role of lawyers to question the other party or make legal submissions.

Your lawyer is there to provide you legal advice and guidance not to be litigious or adversarial.

This is because the purpose of mediation is to try and resolve disputes in a harmonious way that hopefully leads to improved communication between parties who have been in a dispute.

The mediator will not allow parties to yell or raise their voice at each other and will outline clear expectations at the beginning of the mediation about how the mediation is to be conducted.

If a party to a mediation makes threats or becomes abusive the mediator may stop the mediation and deem it inappropriate to continue to mediate.

You should think carefully when you are deciding whether to have lawyer attend at mediation with you or not.

If you have any questions about the mediation process email Family Mediation Hub and we can send you information sheets or answer any questions.