What to Expect From a Family Mediation Service

Family mediation is a way of resolving disputes between family members. It is less expensive and more effective than litigation and usually allows people to remain in control of the decisions that affect them. It is especially useful if you are looking to reach an agreement about children and parenting issues. Family mediation also helps you to preserve and even repair relationships that have been impacted by separation.

There are government-funded and private family mediators. The cost of family mediation depends on the type of service and the complexity of the issues being resolved. Typically, family mediation costs 20-50% less than going to court.

A qualified family mediator will meet with you to assess whether mediation is a suitable option for your situation. They will consider factors such as family violence, safety, equality of bargaining power, risks to children and the emotional and mental health of participants. They will then invite you to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

MIAM is the first session where a mediator helps you identify your issues, find solutions and agree on an outcome. It can take place face-to-face or via video conference. The process can take a few hours or several sessions over the course of a week or two. The number of sessions depends on how complex your issue is and how quickly you are able to reach an agreement.

Most family mediators will help you to work through your issues, think of options and decide on what would work best for you and the other party. They will also help you create a parenting plan and check that you both understand the agreed arrangement. They can write up what you have agreed to as a formal memorandum of understanding, but it is not always necessary and some families prefer a less formal document or a meeting summary.

The main issue that most people want to resolve in mediation is how they will share parental responsibilities and make decisions about their children. A good family mediator will try to keep everyone focused on this and will encourage both parties to listen and be respectful of each other. They may suggest that each person see a counsellor before they go to family mediation. This will help them to manage their expectations and emotions.

The other issues that often come up in family mediation are dividing relationship property, deciding on living arrangements and how they will pay bills and other financial matters. A good family mediator will explain the issues and encourage you to discuss them calmly, focusing on what is in your best interests. They will also try to keep both sides happy and ensure that any decisions made are fair. family mediation service

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