Parties entangled in a family conflict are often not only concerned about the financial settlement of the affair, but also about the general well-being of the family afterwards. Mediation can facilitate this process.
Once a settlement has been reached, the mediator has rounded off the case and the settlement has been upheld by the court, the settlement has become final and the claims of each party have been officially laid down.
The mediation process and the way in which the settlement agreement are drawn up are therefore of crucial importance.
A mediator focuses on the collective interests of the parties, while a lawyer looks after a client’s individual interests.
If a mediator pays insufficient attention to the specific interests of each party as an individual, there is a risk of ultimately reaching a settlement that is either disproportionate or simply not feasible in practice.
This can be avoided by obtaining specialised advice from the lawyer of your choice. It is possible to arrive at a well-considered decision in which you can be assured that all avenues have been explored and all options have been thoroughly examined.
This brings the client the necessary peace of mind so that the interviews with the mediator can be continued in a calm and serene atmosphere. The relationship of trust between the family members or other parties will also be safeguarded thanks to this approach.
Keyser advocaten is law firm with many years of experience in negotiations and conducting proceedings where necessary. Based on its vast expertise in this field, Keyser advocaten offers specialised advice to persons wishing to obtain information for themselves in order to optimise the mediation process.
Keyser advocaten has seen only too frequently in practice that agreements are often concluded in which one of the parties is left with mixed feelings. This can be attributed in part to the fact that all parties involved in the mediation procedure have the same mediator, whose purpose is solely to formulate targeted suggestions or proposals that promote the interests of all parties. It is only natural that not all options will be examined equally extensively in this situation.
The task of a mediator is not to advise each party about his or her individual interests, but to arrive at a solution that is acceptable for all parties involved.
Julie Borms (partner) provides more information about this approach: ‘Thanks to the relationship of trust between a client and his or her lawyer, it is much easier to establish, in all discretion, whether the settlement on the table is the right one – or not. If this settlement does not serve the client’s interests, alternatives are proposed that the client can explore during subsequent discussions. Also not unimportant: it is entirely up to the client to decide whether or not to inform the other parties that he or she has opted for the intervention of a lawyer, or if this lawyer will be working exclusively behind the scenes.’
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM LEGAL ASSISTANCE DURING MEDIATION?
Whenever we are engaged by a client, we first organise an extensive introductory meeting. It is of crucial importance that a relationship of trust is forged between a client and his or her lawyer. The next step is to arrive at a careful assessment of the client’s current situation. How are the assets structured? Is there a financial imbalance between the family members? What is important to the client?
After gaining a clear picture of our client’s wishes, we run through the most important liabilities that should be taken into account within the context of the ongoing mediation procedure together.
During this, we pay special attention to the timing and the possible consequences of a long and extensive mediation process. One of the questions we ask ourselves in this context is whether this is potentially disadvantageous to our client from the perspective of property law.
We also advise our client on the possible outcome of court proceedings so that he or she can assess the outcome of the mediation based on the potential outcome in a court of law.
To conclude the process, we place our practical experience at the disposal of our client to advise him or her on the practical obstacles of certain regulations and any “pitfalls” that could be encountered in respect of these. This often concerns problems that we frequently see recurring in practice.
At the end of the mediation process, we will run through the settlement agreement in detail to ensure that our client’s interests are protected to the best possible extent.’
LET US HELP
If you have any questions about international relationships and international divorces, or would like legal assistance from lawyers specialising in international relationships and international marriages, please contact our law firm in Antwerp.