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Family Mediation And Dispute Resolution

Mediation is a method of settling disagreements between individuals at odds, generally mediated by a neutral third party. Separated families are urged to utilise family mediation rather than the family law courts to settle disagreements about children.

What Exactly Is Family Law Mediation?

When two people divorce, issues such as how property will be divided between the parties and how children from the marriage will be cared for may arise. The Family Court prefers that such disputes be resolved outside of Court. This may be performed via mediation. Mediation is an alternative method of settling problems in which former partners meet with a competent person known as a mediator to discuss concerns and reach an agreement.

How Does Mediation Work In Family Law?

During Mediation, the mediator will direct the parties’ dialogue. The family mediator will remain neutral, not make any decisions or provide advice to the parties, but will encourage communication so that all parties may express themselves and explore all options for reaching an agreement.

Mediation may occur in person, in different rooms with the mediator moving between the two parties, or over the phone. If mediation is effective, it might result in a consensual agreement expressed in the parties’ own words. Even though this arrangement is not enforceable by law, it might be used as the foundation for future Court proceedings.

How Does The Family Mediation Process Work?

Mediation procedures vary depending on the mediator, but they usually include the following steps:

Pre-mediation. Your mediator may desire to meet with you in person or over the phone before your mediation to decide if mediation would be beneficial in your circumstances and to address any questions you may have.

Introduction. Typically, the mediator will provide a statement at the opening of the mediation stating their role, the mediation process, and any ground rules.

Identification of Problems. Then, each party will have a chance to explain their viewpoint and concerns.

Discussion. The mediator may then ask extra questions to gather more information. This will help the mediator decide which issues to address first.

Private Discussion. Each party may then have the opportunity to share their ideas with the mediator or, if they have one, with their lawyer.

Negotiation. The parties will then work out a solution to the problems. The family mediator will also work with the parties to find all possible options.

Agreement. If an agreement is made, it will be documented in writing by the mediator.

Is Family Mediation Better Option Than Court?

If the parties are prepared to collaborate and achieve an agreement, mediation may be a viable alternative to litigation. However, an effort at mediation might also be a need for the court since the law occasionally requires parties to attend mediation before filing a Family Court application.

For example, if there are children involved in a divorce and the parents cannot agree on the children’s living arrangements, the law compels parents to attend mediation before going to Court. Mediation is often used in combination with the Court procedure to speed up the process by resolving matters outside of the Court.

Why Should You Consider Mediation?

Mediation may assist ex-partners in resolving financial, parental, and property disputes. It is far faster and less stressful than settling matters in Family Court since it does not need the same amount of procedural activity as the Court. When compared to the time required to settle family disagreements in court, this is significant time-saving.

Moreover, mediation is much less costly since it may be completed quickly and without the need of a lawyer, as opposed to the expenditures of attorneys conducting protracted discussions on behalf of the parties.

Family Law Mediation

Is Mediation Legally Obligated?

A written agreement reached by the parties during mediation is not legally binding. However, if the deal is incorporated in an Application for Consent Orders to the Family Court or a Binding Financial Agreement, it might be made legally binding.

Are You Able To Refuse Family Mediation?

Yes. You have the right to decline family mediation, even if the law mandates you to do so, such as when there are concerns with children. However, if you refuse mediation and it is required, you will be given a certificate stating that you did not attend mediation. If the certificate is utilised in Court, you may be blamed.

What Exactly Is An FDPR? Can Family Mediators Act As Professional Lawyers? 

Family Dispute Resolution is another name for family mediation (FDR). A Family Dispute Resolution Professional facilitates FDR. An FDPR is a certified mediator and negotiator who specialises in family law. Moreover, an FDPR need not be a lawyer. Some FDPRs have a background in social work, but all FDPRs must be recognised under family law.

How Long Will It Take?

The length of mediation depends on the issues involved and the parties’ willingness to cooperate and compromise. Single mediation sessions are usually several hours long. However, specific conflicts may need many mediation sessions.

How Much Does Family Mediation Costs?

Mediation costs are influenced by factors such as the problem’s complexity and the parties’ willingness to compromise. While the cost may appear high at first glance, keep in mind that a family lawyer will charge per hour.

Conclusion

It is possible to infer that, in general, family mediation is an excellent alternative technique of resolving family problems since it promotes methods of amicable resolution and reduces the economic and social costs of separation and divorce for families, the state, and society.

However, for family mediation to be effective, the primary principles of mediation must be followed, particularly the family mediator’s impartiality and neutrality about the result of the mediation process.