If you’re in a relationship that’s breaking down or have children, family mediation can help you to resolve your issues without going to court. It’s child-focused and puts the needs of your children first, which is essential to helping them through a difficult time. It’s also less expensive than a court case and you may be able to claim legal aid to cover the costs of mediation.
You can find family mediators who practice near you by searching the Family Mediation Council (FMC) register. It’s a not-for-profit organisation and keeps a list of all family mediators who are qualified to mediate. You can search by postcode or by mediator name. Once you’ve found a mediator, book an information and assessment meeting (MIAM) to see whether mediation is right for you.
Once you and your partner have decided to try mediation, it can help if you’re both on the same page about what needs to be resolved. A good way to do this is to discuss your needs, goals and priorities before you go to your first session. During your mediation sessions, you’ll work together to find solutions that are fair for everyone involved. You’ll also be able to agree on a parenting plan that meets your children’s needs.
In most states, it’s mandatory to attend mediation before you can start divorce proceedings. This is a chance for you and your partner to talk about how you want to split up, including your assets, responsibilities and liabilities, as well as custody of any children. This is a great opportunity for you to come up with a solution that suits your needs and doesn’t leave you struggling financially.
During your first mediation sessions, your mediator will check for any issues relating to domestic violence or abuse. If the issue is deemed to be too serious, mediation can be ruled out or you may choose shuttle mediation, where you and your partner are in separate rooms while your mediator “shuttles” between you to facilitate discussions. You’ll be screened for any history of domestic violence or abuse before participating in the mediation and any such details will remain confidential.
During the grieving process following the passing of a loved one, disagreements over estate matters can lead to tensions among participants. Grief mediations are an alternative to litigation and allow participants to come to a resolution regarding inheritance disputes, wills, and personal representative appointments in a safe, neutral environment. The services of a grief mediator can be invaluable to families who are experiencing emotional trauma and need help finding common ground. These professionals are often lawyers or social workers and can assist with the complexities of estate planning. They can also lead discussions in person or via video conference calls, depending on your preferences. family mediation near me