Online mediation offers parties a practical and accessible alternative to face to face mediation in situations where the parties do not reside in the same location. Online mediation may also be an option for parties who do not wish to be in the same room together, yet are still open to the opportunity of resolving their dispute in a practical, cost-effective and timely manner.
Contact us to discuss our online mediation services or book your intake session
Contact us at Fresh Start by phone or email where, as a starting point we will have a brief discussion about your matter. Alternatively, if you don’t have any questions and would like to commence the mediation process, you can book your intake session HERE.
Online intake session(s)
Your intake session will be approximately 1.5 hours over Zoom, where the mediator will ask you a series of questions to get a deeper understanding of your matter. The mediator will also go through each step in the mediation process with you. This conversation is strictly confidential between yourself and the mediator.
The mediator will then contact the other party involved to arrange for their intake session. Again, this will be approximately 1.5 hours long over Zoom where the mediator will ask the other party the same questions asked of you – and will also prepare them for mediation. This conversation is also strictly private and confidential between the mediator and other party involved in the dispute.
Book your online mediation
A date and time for the mediation will then be agreed to between the parties. The mediator will invite parties to the online mediation at the time and date agreed, where the mediation will occur over Zoom and will begin with a joint session.
Book your online mediation
The online mediation will begin with a short introduction by the mediator, followed by the mediation process set out below.
Managing the online mediation
The mediator will run the online mediation. At relevant stages throughout the mediation, the mediator will direct and organise parties to a private online room so that separate and confidential sessions can be held between the mediator and each party separately. Once all parties are ready to resume the joint session, the mediator will organise for the parties to assemble back in the same online room. It is important to reiterate that mediation is a confidential process and the recording of the online mediation by either party or the mediator is strictly forbidden.
Mediation follows a clearly defined structure and generally take a half or full day, following the process below.
The mediator will welcome parties, provide details of the process for the day and ensure each party understands the role of the mediator and what to expect during the mediation.
Each party involved in the mediation will be asked to make an 'opening statement' about why they are at mediation and provide a summary of the items and topics they would like to discuss during the mediation. Most people prepare their opening statement prior to the meeting.
Following each party’s opening statement the mediator will list the issues and topics for discussion, which will form the agenda for mediation.
The aim of this phase of the mediation is to explore each of the items on the agenda and assist each party to gain an understanding of the other party’s perspective. The mediator will facilitate the discussion and help the parties think about options and alternatives for moving forward into the future.
Following exploration, each party will have the opportunity to talk with the mediator in a separate session. Separate meetings are private and confidential and give the mediator a chance to check in with each party on how they feel the mediation is going. Separate sessions also offer each party the opportunity to talk freely and confidentially with the mediator about anything that they did not want to discuss in an open joint session. The mediator will also help parties explore and discuss any proposals to put to the other party or options for agreement. A separate session can occur or be requested at any stage during the mediation.
Throughout the mediation and following the separate meetings with each party, the mediator will work with both parties to put forward a range of options with the aim of reaching an agreement. This can involve testing the realities and practicalities of options being discussed and the consideration of implications and potential outcomes of an agreement not being reached.
If agreement is reached on some or all of the items discussed during the mediation, this will be captured in writing to formally reflect the terms reached by the parties. It is each party's responsibility to ensure they are aware of the legal implications of the decisions made. It is not the mediator's role to provide advice to either or both of the parties at any stage of the mediation process, and it is recommended parties seek legal advice prior to mediation. Parties will also have the opportunity to seek legal advice before agreeing to all or some of the items included in the proposed agreement.
This can be via a phone call or in-person meeting. The pre-mediation intake session is a separate and confidential meeting between the mediator and each party. The purpose of this first step is for the mediator to understand the circumstances of your dispute situation – what brought you to mediation, what you hope to achieve and anything we may need to know about you that could impact the mediation – for example, whether you feel comfortable being in the same room as the other party, or whether you prefer online
mediation. The more we know about your situation, the better placed we are to assist. The intake session also gives us a chance to go through each phase of the mediation process with you – ensuring you understand exactly what to expect on the day. Each party must go through the intake session individually before we can proceed to the mediation. The intake session also gives the mediator the chance to assess whether your dispute is appropriate for mediation. Instances where mediation may not be an alternative to the courts would be in the case where there is a serious safety concern via an emotional, physical or psychological threat to one of the parties, or if one party flatly refuses to participate. As a starting point, we encourage you to give us a call and have an obligation-free chat about mediation and how it may be suited to the nature of your dispute. If you are confident mediation is appropriate to the resolution of your dispute, then feel free to book your intake session, using the calendar tool below.
Start the mediation process by booking your intake meeting HERE
At Fresh Start Mediation we understand you will probably have some questions. Fill in your details HERE and one of our team will give you a call, otherwise you are welcome to call us.
Fresh Start Mediation operates Australia wide, offering face to face and online mediation options.