In family mediation, a neutral mediator helps both parties to reach an agreement that works for the whole family. It is more flexible than a court case, and it is more cost effective. However, it is important to choose an experienced mediator and be realistic about what can be achieved.
The main issues that are negotiated in family mediation are: Arrangements for children; finances and property; and pensions. The mediator helps the parents to identify and address the real issues. They also help the parents to explore possible solutions which will work for their family. These discussions often involve extra-legal matters that would not be able to be properly explored in court. The solution is then recorded in a confidential way by the mediator (usually in private sessions called ‘caucuses’) for both parties to obtain legal advice on.
Throughout the process, the mediator encourages parents to cooperate and communicate effectively. This can help the parents to move on with their lives and can be beneficial for their children as well.
It is not unusual for some emotions to be raised during mediation, particularly if there has been a history of conflict and hostility in the marriage or relationship. It is a good idea to seek virtual or separate mediation meetings when the level of anger or resentment is too high to be productive in the same room.
At the end of the process, the mediator will discuss with the two parents what proposals they have been able to agree on and how they can be converted into a legally binding agreement once each party has taken legal advice. family mediation