Family mediation is a procedure designed to assist people who are separating, divorcing, or dealing with matters arising after divorce. This procedure is intended to allow the parties to reach an agreement between themselves - privately, confidentially and informally.
Mediation is for people who want to settle family disputes without destroying whatever is left of their fragile relationships. This may result in a settlement without extensive litigation. A neutral and impartial third party, called a mediator, will use his or her skills to assist the individuals in making their own decisions by providing information necessary to make decisions, clarifying issues, helping explore alternative solutions, and suggesting possible compromises.
Issues mediated may include custody, visitation and child support; alimony or spousal support; and division of assets and liabilities.
Goals of Mediation
- To help the parties reach their own acceptable agreement by fully exploring all choices.
- To avoid the need for a court-imposed decision.
- To prepare the parties to anticipate, work through, and resolve disagreements that might arise.
- To reduce anxiety and the negative effects of going to court.
- Provides an opportunity for cooperation between the parties.
- Provides the parties with the tools to structure an agreement in their, and their children's, best interests.
- Minimizes the potentially traumatic emotional and psychological effects of the adversarial process.
- Helps with the exchange of information, ideas, and alternatives for settlement between the parties.
- Provides the opportunity for a resolution which is less expensive and time-consuming than a court trial.
- Results in an agreement with which the parties are more likely to comply.