Zoë's style of mediation has 4 key points of difference.
While some mediators focus on the actual day of mediation only, Zoë is of the view that preparation in the Intake sessions and the parties receiving a written report from the mediator after mediation all assist in making an agreement that works for all parties more likely. In short, she tries to carry the parties as far as she can from start to finish.
From beginning to end she is a hardworking, practical and prepared mediator:
Zoë conducts thorough intake sessions prior to the mediation day. This is crucial because:
• It ensures parties' underlying concerns are understood.
• It builds rapport and trust, encouraging parties to be comfortable on the day of mediation.
• It prepares parties for mediation and they can ask questions or raise concerns prior to mediation occurring.
• It allows Zoë to form a flexible plan as to the structure of mediation, usually beginning with less contentious issues, which then encourages goodwill and momentum on the day. It also allows Zoë to consider which issues will unlock other issues and the logical order of issues to be discussed. This allows for a greater chance of resolving matters.
• parties can be given "homework", for example clarifying figures/ facts/ bringing documents to prevent blockages to resolving the matter on the day.
• All of this work, done prior to mediation even commencing creates an efficient mediation. Most mediators essentially conduct "corridor" intake sessions on the day of mediation which then often absorbs 1-2 hours of mediation time.
In property matters, provided both parties consent, Zoë will express views as to the reasonable range of results in a matter (evaluative mediation.) If progress is stalling this can help create momentum again.
In parenting matters Zoë will express opinions as to if proposals are child focused, drawing on her experience as a Court Appointed Independent Children's Lawyer.
From her years as a lawyer, Zoë's experience is "the devil is in the detail." It is often only in drafting settlement documents that details about how an arrangement will work in reality become apparent.
Zoë strongly encourages parties to stay and reduce any in principle agreement to writing. Zoë seeks to avoid the scenario when parties appear to have agreed at mediation, but then agreement falls over in the weeks after mediation when parties disagree on what was actually agreed and/ or details of agreements or the drafting of same.
Finally, Zoë provides a reporting letter (marked strictly for the parties and their lawyers and not to be used in litigation).
The letter will summarise what issues were agreed upon and what (if any) issues remain in dispute. It will clearly explain the area of difference between the two parties final positions. It may include suggestions for how to try to close the final gap regarding any issues following mediation. In Zoë's experience parties find having a written record from the mediator (a neutral third party) useful.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution services
Mediation Answers your dispute
Lvl 21, 133 Castlereagh Street
Phone: (02) 8379 1853
INTAKE SESSIONS & PREPARATION prior to mediation
express a view during mediation
documenting agreement at mediation
reporting letter after mediation