How Mediation Services Can Help Resolve Family Disputes Amicably
Every family goes through disagreements, but when those disputes become intense it can cause a lot of strain for everyone involved. In some cases, these family disputes can become so serious that one or more parties may feel the need to take it to court. Fortunately, there is a less stressful alternative that can take the heat out of any disputes and help all parties involved come to a peaceful solution. Family mediation helps all sides of a dispute come to a resolution, whether it be over issues surrounding divorce or separation, arrangements for children, or other family conflicts. Find out more about family dispute resolution services below.
What are mediation services?
In mediation, the disputing party’s consent to meet in person under the guidance of an impartial mediator to work out their differences. Each party can present their case, make suggestions, offer solutions, and concede throughout this dialogue. No one is compelled to agree to anything they don’t want to during the mediation session, and each party keeps control. Conversations are conducted without bias to prevent repetition in court. The mediator will explore how an agreement can be made legally binding after it has been reached. If a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved, the mediator will consider further alternatives, such as arbitration or court proceedings.
The types of disputes that can arise
- Arrangements for property, finances, and the family home in divorce/separation proceedings.
- Disputes over where children will live and how much time they will spend with each party.
- Disagreements over a child’s welfare including education and medical treatment.
- How much time grandparents and other extended family members can spend with children?
- Claims that wills & inheritance do not make reasonable provision.
The family mediation process
- The mediation process starts with the initial call between the mediator and each of the relevant parties. During this call, the mediator will outline the process and any issues to discuss or not include in the meetings.
- The mediator will meet each party separately to explain the process in more detail. This is known as a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Each MIAM is confidential, and no details will be shared between parties.
- Once all the MIAMs have concluded, a joint meeting between all parties can be arranged if everyone agrees to it. This first meeting involves signing any agreements to mediate, dealing with any immediate issues, and setting the agenda for further meetings.
- Future meetings may take place depending on the issues each party wishes to cover. This includes discussions around arrangements for children, financial settlements, and so on.
- Any agreement reached in these meetings is not legally binding until independent legal advice is provided. Once this occurs, a lawyer can offer a Memorandum of Understanding as an order that can be lodged in court for approval before a judge.
- In some case mediation can be dealt with over the course of a day or half day with lawyers present. In these cases, the parties in separate rooms & the mediator travels between the rooms. This is known as hybrid mediation.
Benefits of family dispute resolution
- Mediation allows you to arrive at the solutions that will best fit your family’s needs and avoids the courts imposing an unacceptable solution on you.
- The legal costs of pursuing disputes in court can be enormous. In contrast, mediation is much more affordable.
- Through mediation all parties have the time to come up with solutions that the courts simply do not have the time or resources to consider.
- Mediation offers much faster results compared to the courts which can take a long time to resolve issues.
- The process of mediation helps keep communication channels open between parties and reduces conflict and animosity between all involved.
Contact us at East Mediation if you’re seeking dispute resolution services that can assist you in finding a quick and affordable solution to any problems. For more details, see our mediation services page or get in touch with us as soon as possible.