What are the advantages of mediation in resolving family disputes?
Posted on 23rd November 2020
How family mediation can help you reach a resolution sooner and stay in control of your family’s future, despite the challenges of Covid-19.
Separation and divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster. Feelings of anger, hurt and worry are common – add the uncertainty created by Coronavirus and they are amplified. With emotions running high, resolving family disputes, and reaching an agreement about parenting arrangements, maintenance payments and other finances can feel impossible. When communication breaks down, using the Family Court to settle your dispute might seem like the only option. However, there is an alternative which helps you reach a resolution sooner and stay in control of your family’s future.
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is a series of face to face discussions between you and your partner, which are facilitated by a trained, impartial mediator. The mediator helps you and your partner make decisions in a constructive and confidential setting.
An experienced mediator can help everyone involved move on with their lives sooner, confident you have made the best decisions for your family.
Mediation minimises the impact of separation on children
The welfare of your child/children is likely to be your priority. Conflict between parents can have a lasting impact on children yet it is easy to get caught in a battle when emotions are high. Family mediation works to resolve disputes and reduce conflict, for a more harmonious, less hostile atmosphere in the home and between parents. Separation is less fraught for everyone and important family relationships are protected. Curbing conflict early allows for greater cooperation and improved communication as you continue to co-parent.
Family mediation puts you and your partner in control of your family’s future
Your family circumstances are individual. So, it is important to discuss and agree on the aspects of family life most important to you, and not always covered in the court process. Family mediation allows you to choose the topics for discussion and the decisions to be reached. Common topics for mediation include the finances on separation, use of the family home and arrangements for the children. The process enables you and your partner to make choices about your future and avoid having arrangements imposed on your family by the court.
Jacqueline Major, head of the Family Team at Hodge Jones & Allen and a qualified mediator says, “As mediators, we facilitate an open dialogue, help you explore your options and ensure both parties have their say and feel heard. We help you find and agree on solutions that take account of your individual family circumstances and are in the best interests of your family.”
Resolving disputes using a mediator is almost four times quicker than applying to the court
Dealing with disputes through the Family Court can be a lengthy process. Working with court timetables and dealing with case overload and backlog caused by the implications of Coronavirus can make for a slow and painful process. Often couples already feel trapped by their circumstances and a prolonged process can take its toll emotionally and physically. The ever-changing economic landscape has the potential to impact on finances too with the risk of assets losing value and so magnifying money worries. Family mediation takes place at your pace, so disputes are resolved sooner while allowing you time to carefully consider proposals and agree the best arrangements. The cost-savings can be significant too.
Mediation provides a private and comfortable space for calm communication
Separation and divorce are stressful, especially when they involve children. There are difficult decisions to make and practical implications to consider, all while maintaining some sense of normality for your child/children. Finding the time, energy, and emotion to attend court and discuss personal details in a room of strangers can add yet more strain. Family mediation avoids the ‘court battle’, hostile negotiations and need to leave familiar surroundings, instead providing a private and comfortable space for calm communication. It is possible to have mediation via Zoom or other video conferencing technology, which means that couples can access mediation during lockdown or if they live far apart.
The pandemic has made a difficult situation worse for many people separating or divorcing. Family mediation can help you resolve disputes and make better decisions quickly so you can move forward with your life sooner – despite the pandemic.