If you didn’t know – family mediation is a dispute resolution process that used in cases where divorcing couples can’t come to an equitable agreement about issues like child custody and the division of property assets. This process has become increasingly popular over the years for many reasons and is now the preferred way that disputes resulting from the breakdown of a marriage are resolved.
Let’s take a look at some important facts about family mediation and how it is conducted in Australia.
1. It is the preferred dispute resolution method
Family mediation is the first officially prescribed dispute resolution tool that judges will recommend before parties seek to have matters like child custody and property settlement litigated in court. In fact, the law requires that a ‘genuine’ attempt is made by both parties to engage with a form of family mediation before child custody matters can be disputed in a courtroom.
The chief reason for this is that the courts in Australia are already overburdened with past cases that are still waiting to be heard. In order to avoid making this waiting list even longer, judges seek to ensure that every case that can be resolved out-of-court is given the chance to.
2. It leads to longer-lasting outcomes
Another reason family mediation is so popular is that it allows for much longer-lasting outcomes than those that are agreed to privately or those mandated by a judge following litigation. This is because each party gets to feel like they were given the chance to make their case and ensure that all of their concerns have been heard.
Basically, family mediation helps people come to a decision that is theirs, rather than one that was forced upon them. When people negotiate a deal, rather than have a mandate put on them, they are generally much more content with whatever the arrangement is.
3. It is much less costly than going to court
One of the most attractive benefits of family mediation is its cost-effectiveness when compared with the average expenditure of court litigation. Any court battle is going to be a stressful and needlessly formal affair for both you and your ex, as well as any children you have who are going to witness their parents locked in a war for months or even years.
In terms of both financial and emotional costs, pursuing an alternative dispute resolution method is much cheaper than going to court. It is simply much better to resolve these issues in a calm and considerate way rather than rush to win a quick victory over your ex.
How to find the best family mediation firm
If you decide to pursue this negotiation tactic, then you will need to do your research into which firm you are going to engage in. Naturally, there’s a diverse array of options out there and you need to be smart about how you evaluate each of their strengths and weaknesses.
Typically, you want to go with a firm that has good reviews and a lot of positive feedback from grateful past clients. Because of the nature of the issues handled (child custody etc), people tend to use more emotional language in their testimonials, expressing sincere gratitude that they were able to use the firm’s brand of family mediation company such as osullivanmediation.com.au. to resolve their dispute and move on with their life.