Going through a divorce is difficult, not only for the married parties but the children of the family as well. The pain of splitting up can lead to increased tension in the relationship and disputes over custody and financial matters. In the past, families often had to struggle through the process in a very adversarial manner with each party represented by separate attorneys. However, family mediation is becoming a more trusted way of resolving disputes. Mediation can be used not only by married couples but by those who are in a civil partnership or are cohabitating.
Family mediation is a process in which an independent third party, the mediator, assists the family to work out any necessary arrangements such as child custody, visitation rights, child maintenance payments and other financial arrangements. This can be done without the necessity of tense legal battles or lengthy court disputes.
Court proceedings can be extremely expensive, especially in cases where the couple has a lot of animosity towards each other. With each application that is filed and every hour spent in front of a judge, the costs add up. This is especially problematic for families with limited financial resources. Mediation can offer these families a more cost-effective means of resolving disputes and settling child care and financial arrangements.
Mediation is also a quicker method of settling these issues since going through the courts can be very time-consuming. Once an application is filed with the court’s parties must wait for a hearing date, which can further delay the resolution process. Mediation does not require lengthy waits, and most mediators are happy to meet with the parties once they are ready.
Another great advantage of mediation it that it allows the parties to retain control over the decisions affecting their family. When these matters are taken to court, the outcome will ultimately be decided by a judge, and the parties may not be satisfied with the decisions. However, most courts will expect you to have attempted mediation before applying for a court hearing.
In mediation, it is not the mediator’s role to make decisions for anyone, but only to help the families understand their options and reach an agreement that everyone can live with. Their aim is to help the parties find workable solutions to their childcare and financial arrangements by asking open ended questions and identifying common goals that everyone can work toward. The mediator will never take sides or judge either of the parties but will remain completely neutral throughout the process.
As mentioned, resolving family issues through mediation is less costly than going through a long legal battle. Also, any agreements that are made between the parties in mediation can be amended later on as circumstances change and children grew older. This can be done without the need to file new applications with the courts.
There are many helpful organisations available that offer education and resources for families needing mediation assistance. Once such organisation is National Family Mediation, a not-for-profit mediation provider with more than 500 locations throughout England and Wales. NFM aims to help empower couples to find the best possible long-term solutions for their families and delivers thousands of mediations each year. NFM also offers a training programme for anyone wanting to work as a professional mediator.
Just Divorce Mediation offers confidential mediation services in a comfortable and secure environment. It has several mediation centres throughout the North West of England, including in Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester, making their services easily accessible to clients in the region. They operate in a very informal setting and welcome clients to come into one of their centres and visit with a mediator at any time.
As illustrated, mediation is a wonderful way for families to navigate through a split-up as painlessly as possible. Not only is this route advantageous to the children, but it also provides the parties with the ability to achieve closure much sooner, without the fear of accruing exorbitant legal expenses. Plagiarism checking has been enabled