Family Mediation encourages separating couples to co-operate with each other in working out mutually acceptable arrangements on all or any of the following:
• Parenting the children
• Financial support
• Family home and property
• Other problems related to the separation
A professionally trained family mediator assists the couple to reach their own agreement. The role of the family mediator is to:
• See a couple together and help them settle their differences
• Create a climate in which neither party dominates but in which both parties participate fully in good faith
• Create and maintain an atmosphere of co-operation and responsibility
• Help couples deal with difficult emotional issues that can prevent them reaching agreement
• Help couples reach agreement that they believe to be fair, equitable and workable
Both parties must attend the mediation sessions. These sessions are confidential. The mediator does not take sides. Between two and six sessions are usually needed to reach a final resolution. Each session takes one hour.
Most Mediation’s end with a written document that sets out all the details of the party’s agreement. This document can then be taken to solicitors to be drawn into a legal Deed of Separation or Decree of Divorce. It may also be ruled by a court so that it becomes an enforceable court order.
When a couple with children has reached an agreement, the couple can invite their children to a session to discuss their new family arrangements.
Advantages of family mediation
There are many advantages to family mediation. These include:
• Family Mediation is a confidential process
• Each mediated agreement deals with the particular needs of the people involved
• A balanced agreement that is acceptable to both parties is reached
• Parents are helped to remain as partners in child rearing by developing parenting plans that are personal to each family.