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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

What is an agreement to mediate?

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Ensuring Clarity and Confidence in the Mediation Process with 'Adelaide Family Mediation'

In the realm of mediation, the journey towards resolution often begins with the signing of an 'Agreement to Mediate.' The mediator provides this critical document, serving as the foundational framework for the mediation process. It outlines the terms and conditions under which mediation will proceed, and though the core elements remain consistent, mediators may utilise slightly different versions of this agreement tailored to their specific operational requirements.

The 'Agreement to Mediate' is a comprehensive document that encapsulates several crucial aspects of the mediation process. These include the commitment to confidentiality, the respective obligations of the parties involved and the mediator, financial considerations, the mediator's role, and a mechanism for addressing complaints or concerns.

The Significance of the Agreement

At Adelaide Family Mediation, we emphasise the importance of having an 'Agreement to Mediate' in place. It's a step we rarely encounter resistance to, as the value of this document is evident to all parties involved. Our practice typically involves sending a copy of the agreement to the participants when confirming their joint mediation session. This approach offers them an opportunity to review the document at their own pace and reach out if any questions or concerns arise.

During the subsequent joint mediation session, we take the time to summarise the 'Agreement to Mediate' to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of its contents. This step is essential in establishing a common ground and emphasising the obligations regarding confidentiality, including its limits.

The Assurance of Confidentiality

One of the pivotal aspects of the 'Agreement to Mediate' is its role in guaranteeing confidentiality throughout the mediation process. By having a written commitment to confidentiality, participants can trust that their sensitive information will remain protected. This trust is a fundamental element of successful mediation as it fosters an environment where parties can openly communicate and work toward resolution without fear of breaches in confidentiality.

The Benefits of the 'Agreement to Mediate'

Numerous reasons underscore the importance of signing an 'Agreement to Mediate.' Firstly, it provides a clear and structured path forward for all parties involved. By setting out the terms and conditions in advance it ensures that everyone is on the same page and aware of what is expected of them. This clarity minimises the potential for misunderstandings and helps create a positive and productive mediation experience.

Additionally, the agreement offers protection throughout the mediation process. It serves as a safeguard, assuring participants that their rights and interests are respected and upheld. In case of any disputes or concerns, the 'Agreement to Mediate' provides a mechanism for addressing issues, ultimately contributing to a more efficient and fair mediation process.

In conclusion, the 'Agreement to Mediate' is not just a formality but a crucial foundation upon which successful mediation is built. It sets the stage for confidentiality, clarifies expectations, and fosters an environment of trust, ultimately ensuring a more effective and productive mediation experience for all parties involved in Adelaide Family Mediation.

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