5 Things You Need To Know About MediationAugust 30, 2021
Going through a marital or partnership separation is never easy for anyone particularly when children are involved. It can be an extremely stressful time when the last thing you need is to continue negotiating with your ex-partner around key issues to deal with parenting and child support.
Having an impartial individual present to hear both sides of a discussion is extremely beneficial. In this article, we’ve listed five things to know before you engage with your family lawyer in Melbourne.
What is Mediation?
This is a voluntary method of resolving disputes between two parties – facilitated by an objective third party, known as the mediator. The process is focused on problem solving key issues on which individuals have not been able or find it difficult to reach a suitable agreement. It is particularly effective when undertaken as part of family dispute mediation.
Although mediation itself is an optional process, when it comes to the family law system, it is often a method that is required by the Courts. Emotions will naturally run high when it comes to decisions around care of children and also visitation rights so with the child being the priority, then often (unless domestic violence is the issue) you may be required to attend family mediation.
What Happens at Mediation?
With everything else that you are dealing with, having to attend mediation with an ex-partner, may very well give you concerns about the process. However, mediators are highly trained professionals who want both sides to be able to explore all and any issues relating to parenting. First of all, the mediator will ask both parties to set out what they believe the concerns to be, if you don’t feel comfortable being able to speak out then the mediator is there to facilitate and help you state what you would like the outcome to be.
Likewise, they will do the same for your ex-partner because their role is one of impartiality. If this is going to be a real stumbling block, then speak to your family lawyer in Melbourne who can help you prepare for the process. The mediation process is completely confidential and what is said in mediation cannot be raised in Court so that you can both speak freely and look at all the ways you can reach an agreed decision.
Who Can Attend Mediation?
This is where your legal representative with experience in family dispute mediation will prove invaluable. Each case is different, and mediation can take place with lawyers present or without them. If there is an imbalance of power between you and your ex-partner or if you have had a very acrimonious break-up, it can be very beneficial to have your lawyer with you so they can ensure everything agreed upon is fair and in the best interests of the children. Otherwise, in attendance will be you and your ex-partner with the mediator (unless you require additional support due to language or hearing difficulties, for example).
What Happens if I Don’t Agree With My Ex?
One of the worries around mediation is that people think they may be “forced” to agree with their ex-partner but this is where speaking to your family lawyer first will help to discuss the issues you want to raise and see where the stumbling blocks could be. It is not expected that you will agree fully with the other, but you can reach an agreement or meet each other in the middle on key areas. This is a lot better than going to Court where a Judge will make the decision for both of you.
What Happens After the Mediation Meeting?
The aim is that at mediation, you will be able to try to resolve your differences but everyone is going to be different and there will be situations where you may find that you are unable to reach agreement. At this stage, it may be necessary to go to Court or to carry on with any Court case underway, but your family lawyer will be able to go through the next steps with you. Sometimes, a Court may require further mediation but with the proper support and advice, you will feel confident in getting the best outcome for your children.
Involving experienced family lawyers in Melbourne from the beginning of the process will provide you with equable and objective support and guidance for all of the parties. Contact your local professionals today.