As Family Mediation Week draws to a close, we thought that we would share the 6 core benefits of mediation, for individuals and families facing disputes.
Mediation aims to preserve relationships, particularly in relation to family matters. It can be less adversarial than the Court process, helping to minimise hostility and foster a more amicable atmosphere. This is especially important in cases involving children, where maintaining positive relationships is crucial to moving forward effectively.
Mediation is generally less expensive than going through the Court process. Legal proceedings can be costly and mediation can sometimes be a way of avoiding considerable legal fees and disbursements.
Mediation typically takes less time than Court proceedings. Family Court cases are often subject to delays due to backlogs and scheduling issues. Mediation allows parties to work through their issues more efficiently, often leading to a faster resolution.
Mediation allows parties to have more control over the decision-making process. Instead of a Judge imposing a decision, the parties involved actively participate in finding solutions that meet their needs/their children’s needs.
In family mediation, the focus is on the best interests of the children involved. Mediators help parents work towards solutions that prioritise the wellbeing of the children, creating a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Mediation sessions are confidential, meaning that discussions that take place during mediation cannot be raised in Court. This encourages open communication and allows parties to express their concerns freely, without fear of any repercussions.
We have seen mediation develop over recent years, proving to be a successful way of keeping disputes outside of the Court arena. Sometimes, there is a need for there to be a combination of Court proceedings and mediation and more often than not, negotiations via mediation bring an end to protracted Court proceedings. Often, there is a perception that mediation means that lawyers are not involved in negotiations and discussions. That is not entirely true as there is also the option of Solicitor-led mediation so that parties can continue to receive advice from their Solicitors but do so within a mediation setting.
Whilst family mediation offers several benefits, it may not be suitable for every situation. The effectiveness of mediation depends on the nature of the dispute and the willingness of the parties to engage in the process. For further information and to see if your case suits mediation, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team of family lawyers who are available to assist.