Sometimes couples want their conflicts to be resolved outside the courts, hence the need for family mediation. Court sessions are back and forth and could be strenuous. It could create a large hole in your pocket as hiring the service of a divorce lawyer and paying their legal and professional fees is no small thing. Secondly, you need to have enough guts. Borrow some more if need be. The reason is you would hear a lot of cringe-worthy stuff in the court. You would be heartbroken, angry, bitter, or in between. The good news, families can avoid these altogether by going the route of family mediation.
Definition: Family Mediation
When a neutral third party, who is a trained professional in dispute resolution, assists a separated couple in reaching an agreement concerning key decisions such as sharing of finances, property division, child care, etc., it is termed family mediation. The person who oversees all these is called a “mediator”. In addition, ground rules must be established before the process begins.
The Limits Your Mediator Can Go
Your mediator may have a legal background or in other related fields, but it doesn’t mean they can give you legal advice. As they must be neutral in their dealings with you and your spouse, they can only give you information about state laws in the family mediation process. However, the separating couple should get legal advice from their lawyers individually. This is best for them.
Furthermore, your mediator may also assess if there is a history of domestic violence or substance abuse in the family.
What about sessions?
Sessions may take a good chunk of your time. The number of issues to be settled determines its length and frequency. On average, you should expect 3-8 sessions before you hit resolution.
Are there advantages of family mediation?
Yes, there are. First off, it is more cost-effective in comparison to court processes. Legal and professional fees, as stated earlier, can create a hole in your pocket. And, they can take a lot of time before resolutions are made. Not many people can bear this.
Secondly, family mediation always puts your kids first. They are given top priority in all of your decisions making. Plus, it takes the eyes of the public away from them, as is common with court processes. Finally, it creates room for co-parenting. This process resolves disputes amicably. Zero tension. And, your children are being shielded from the bile statements that erupt in courts.
What is the success rate of family mediation?
When it comes to conflict resolution, “success rate” is usually subjective. The truth is resolutions are not always successful. However, when you place this process side by side with litigation, it has a higher success rate. In mediation, no loser, no winner, and everybody leaves a winner. However, sometimes, the second party may want more because of the kind of expectations they have. This may further lead them to the courts. It’s noteworthy to know that court judgments will take your time and may not favour you. The earlier you know this, the better for you.
In conclusion, if you’ve already hired a lawyer, you could still go on with the family mediation process. Many lawyers even approve of this!