If you’re thinking about mediation for your separation or divorce, you may have come across the term conciliation.

But what’s the difference between mediation and conciliation?

Let’s take a closer look at both options so you can make an informed choice of what would be best for you.

There are many aspects of dispute resolution. Two of the most common avenues, especially for those separating or getting divorced, are mediation and conciliation. Both involve an independent third party who facilitates the process. But there is a clear difference between mediation and conciliation.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is the process by which two parties (for our purposes, separated spouses) come together to try and come to an amicable plan of how to finalise their relationship. This could include where children will live, who will pay for what, what access to the children will each person have and how property is to be divided.

The mediation itself is run by a third party – a mediator – who helps each person to see the other’s point of view and come to a mutual agreement on how to divorce without having to resort to fighting it out in the courts.

The process is usually quite informal and relaxed, but you are permitted to bring a lawyer with you to mediation, or take legal advice from a family lawyer before and after mediation.

It is always up to each person to determine the outcome of the mediation. The mediator does not make recommendations as to what would be fair or unfair. They are there to try and keep the discussion flowing and amicable and to provide guidance as to what may or may not be considered to be reasonable outcomes under the family law.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement at mediation, their problems will remain unsolved and may well end up in the family courts where a judge will make a decision for them.

What Is Conciliation?

Conciliation is similar to mediation, in that a conciliator will help disputing parties to come to a mutually agreeable solution.

A conciliator can provide advice and guidance on the issues at hand and make suggestions as to potential options on the table.

Conciliation can be voluntary or court ordered. It can be the next step if mediation has been unsuccessful, and can be ordered by the courts if they deem it necessary.

When Would You Choose Mediation?

You would choose to mediate if you:

  • Want to save money on costly legal fees
  • Want to avoid dragging your divorce through the family courts
  • Want to settle your disputes quickly
  • Want to remain as amicable as possible with your ex
  • Want to remain in control of the decisions made regarding your divorce
  • Want to keep the information confidential

When Would You Choose Conciliation?

You would choose conciliation if you:

  • Have tried mediation and have been unable to come to an agreement
  • Want to reach an agreement in the dispute
  • Need help reaching an agreement
  • Want to keep the other parties involved in the decision-making process
  • Need advice on the facts relating to the dispute

Hopefully you’ve found this post about the different between mediation and conciliation useful.

Family mediation is a much cheaper and quicker option when it comes to getting a divorce.

Going to family court can be expensive and take months – sometimes even years!

If you want to avoid the stress and costs with going to court, speak to us about family mediation in Perth today.

We can help you move on quickly and affordably – call Ian on 0418 928 448.