Frequently asked questions & answers
Below is a selection of frequently asked questions about conflict mediation. More specific questions concerning the operation and whether the partners of Inter Partes Mediation can mediate your conflict can be found in the menu bar under the heading Welcome > “Can Inter Partes mediate your dispute?”.
Questions & Answers
1. What exactly does a mediator do?
The mediator makes sure that the communication between parties is restored. In the search for a solution to the dispute he will facilitate the communication between the parties and will assist the parties to negotiate a settlement.
2.What is the role of the lawyer during the mediation?
The lawyer protects the interests of his client and, in a constructive manner, searches for a way to resolve the dispute in order to avoid or to put an end to legal proceedings.
3. Can mediation result in a legally binding document?
If a settlement is reached between the parties and such agreement is also signed by the mediator the settlement agreement is not only binding upon parties but can also be declared enforceable in short period of time.
Upon request of one of the parties the judge will indeed declare the settlement agreement enforceable provided that it has been signed by the mediator. In such case the judge will not examine the content of the agreement. He will only verify whether the agreement is in breach of any mandatory rule in the absence of which the settlement will be declared enforceable. In family matters, the judge will also verify whether the interests of the children are jeopardized by the agreement.
4. Are the parties in the same room during the mediation?
In principle, mediation takes place in the presence of all parties.
It is however possible that, at the request of the parties or at the request of the mediator himself, a separate session with one of the parties can be held.
All information the mediator is provided with during such session is confidential.
5. How much time does a mediation usually take?
It is very difficult to predict in advance how much time a mediation will take. Often the parties reach an agreement after one session. But even if several meetings are necessary to reach a settlement our overall experience is that it is definitely less time consuming than court proceedings.
6. How much does a mediation cost?
A mediation will usually be a lot cheaper than court proceedings. For a mediation relating to family matters, an hourly rate is agreed upon in advance. For a civil and trade-oriented mediation, we prefer to discuss fixed fee price in advance.
7. What is expected from the parties participating in a mediation?
Parties must actively cooperate in the mediation with the purpose of resolving their dispute. Commitment of each of the parties therefore essential to successful mediation.
8. Which type of conflict is best suited for mediation?
Almost any conflict can be mediated. The mediator will check in advance if a mediation is possible.
9. What is the difference between mediation, court proceedings or arbitration?
If parties take their case to court the judge will examine the case and then impose a solution upon the parties.
The same goes in case of arbitration. In case of court proceedings or arbitration proceedings the parties will have little impact on the outcome whereas mediation offers the arties the possibility of creating a solution which fits them the best.
10. What can you do if the other party does not voluntarily honor the agreement?
If the other party refuses to respect the settlement agreement (and provided this agreement is also signed by the mediator) you can ask the court to declare the agreement enforceable after which a bailiff will take the necessary steps to enforce or execute the agreement.
11. What is the best time to start a mediation?
You can start a mediation at any time provided that parties are committed to resolve the dispute.
12. Is it ever too late to start a mediation?
It is never too late as long as both parties are committed to resolve the dispute through negotiations and with the help of a mediator.
13. What if the mediation fails?
If mediation fails the parties are still free to take the matter before court.
14. Can the information I disclosed afterwards be used against me?
No, information disclosed during a mediation remains confidential and can therefore never be used in court proceedings.
15. How do I start a mediation?
A mediation can only be started if both parties agree to mediate and sign the mediation agreement.
The parties can take the initiative to contact a mediator.
If court proceedings have already started, they can ask the court to appoint a mediator.
16. Can parties speak to the mediator separately?
JYes, parties can speak to the mediator separately in a private meeting. This private meeting is called a “Caucus” and is strictly confidential.
17. Who wins and who loses in a mediation?
Mediation aims to reach a solution that satisfies both parties. Consequently there are no “winners” or “losers”.
18. ow about VAT and mediation regarding family related matters?
The mediator’s fee related to ‘family matters’ are free from VAT.
19. Why call upon Inter Partes Mediation?
Inter Partes is a multidisciplinary team that consists of six acknowledged mediators who are all experts in a specific practice area.
Inter Partes Mediation heeft vestigingen te Brussel, Leuven, Dessel, Gentbrugge, Hasselt, Tongeren en Wemmel.
Inter Partes Mediation,
Gouv. Roppesingel 15 Bus 1.1,
B 3500 Hasselt.