The successful mediation of a dispute over family property or children will cost a fraction of the amount that you could spend in seeking a remedy through the courts.

• What is 'Family Mediation'?
Family mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, the 'mediator', assists a separating couple to reach decisions about their children, finances and property. It is intended as a process to empower the participants to solve their problems for themselves. It is not intended to be a reconciliation or counselling process.

• Who will mediate?
Ken Gulati is a lawyer who specialises in family law and children matters. In over thirty years of practice he has come to believe that mediation is a better way to resolve family legal disputes than the traditional court processes which can be expensive, stressful and damaging to relationships and the children.
He is a member of the Law Society's Panels on Family Law and on Children.
He has established his own firm with a Legal Aid Family Law Franchise.
He appears regularly as an advocate in local courts.
He is a member of the Solicitors Family Law Association.
He has trained with the Solicitors Family Law Association as an All Issues Sole Mediator.

• How does mediation work?
Couples must both wish to attempt the process of mediation. The mediator will arrange the first appointment with each of the participants and a meeting will then be held to arrange the ground rules and the subjects for discussion. Further appointments will then be arranged as necessary.
The mediator is trained to guide and assist open, free and balanced discussion. He or she will help the parties to obtain the factual information they need to reach a realistic consensus. At the conclusion the mediator will prepare a summary of the proposals.

Is it legally binding?
A mediator has no power to impose a settlement and all discussions in mediation are confidential. The parties are encouraged to consult their own solicitors at all stages but especially on any proposed terms of settlement before committing themselves to any binding agreement.

What does it cost?
Mediation is conducted in sessions lasting one and a half hours. Experience suggests that an average of six to eight sessions may be needed. The charges are payable at an hourly rate at the end of each session and may be shared by the couple in any way they wish. The mediator will charge for the time involved in preparing the final summary.
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