Comparison of mediation and conciliation in terms of their key differences

When we find ourselves in a disagreement with a member of our family, our natural inclination is to try to settle the matter on our own. It’s possible that we should get together, talk it over, brainstorm some solutions, and work to find a path ahead. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and when that happens, we find ourselves in a bind. In order to resolve the disagreement and come to terms with one another, we will need the assistance of an impartial third party. This could steer us in the direction of the courts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that. Barclay Devere Swindon is here to help.

The phrase “alternative dispute resolution” (often abbreviated as “ADR”) refers to a variety of various approaches that are taken in an effort to resolve issues outside of the traditional legal system. This encompasses the processes of arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and negotiation conducted by a lawyer. Nonetheless, we are often questioned about the distinction between mediation and conciliation, despite the fact that mediation is our area of expertise here at DMS.

Conciliation and mediation are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, yet they are not the same thing at all. The most important distinction between a conciliator and a mediator is their respective roles in the conflict resolution process. Throughout the process of conciliation, the neutral third person who is present at the conversation will provide the parties with guidance and may even interject their own ideas in order to assist them in reaching a compromise over their disagreement. On the other hand, in mediation, a mediator will assist a positive discourse between two participants, with the goal of arriving to an agreement between the two parties involved. Mediators are allowed to make interventions, and on occasion they may even provide ideas, but they are never permitted to offer advice. A mediator’s role is to encourage self-determination on the part of both parties involved in the conflict.

One of the most notable distinctions between a conciliator and a mediator is that the former will attempt to convince you to reach an agreement based on their own judgements, whilst the latter will act as a neutral party to facilitate communication and discussion. They will pay attention to your conversations and provide their input whenever they feel it is necessary. The session will be facilitated by a mediator, who will also urge the two of you to have the talk that you have mutually decided to have. They will quiz you, provide you with prompts, and plan out the agenda. They will moderate the discussion and ensure that it stays on topic. Although while the mediator won’t offer you advice or make choices for you, they will provide you with legal knowledge that you may use as a tool to assist you in your conversations with the other party.

To summarise, the primary distinction between mediation and conciliation lies in the fact that a mediator will act as a moderator throughout a conversation, whilst a conciliator would jump into a discussion in order to provide potential resolutions. The roles are interdependent on one another. A power balance may be achieved via mediation, which puts decision-making in the hands of the parties involved.

Why participate in family mediation?

To boil it all down, participating in family mediation ensures that you retain ultimate decision-making authority over matters pertaining to your own family. One of the benefits of mediation is that it gives both parties the opportunity to express their points of view and thoughts in a protected setting, with the assurance that the neutral third party will not take a stance. The purpose of mediation is to get to the bottom of an issue and investigate a wide variety of potential solutions, all with the end goal of achieving a mutually beneficial compromise.

The use of mediation may result in a number of advantages, including the following:

  • It is less expensive than going via the courts. In most cases, mediation is much more cost-effective than going through the courts since you do not need to be represented by an attorney. While it is not required, parties involved in mediation may on occasion decide to seek legal counsel throughout the course of the process.
  • It is faster than going via the courts, which is related to the cost efficiency of mediation as well since you should reach an agreement more quickly through mediation, which means you will spend less money overall. Cases that take longer to resolve need more legal counsel, which often takes more time and might thus result in greater expenses.
  • It gives you the ability to resolve disagreements in a friendly manner – the judicial system is adversarial, meaning that two parties go head-to-head in an effort to win their case. But, with mediation, we strive for a shared purpose and an agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved. The process of going through mediation as opposed to the court system is likely to be much less stressful for you, and it may also help you achieve an amicable divorce.

Barclay Devere provides family mediation services for resolving conflicts connected to child custody as well as disagreements over property and income. We provide online mediation using services like Zoom and WhatsApp, which eliminates the need to travel, and we have flexible appointment hours to better accommodate your schedule. In addition to this, we also provide Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs), which may be scheduled for the following day.


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