About family mediation

When it comes to sensitive family matters, the way in which disputes is resolved is crucial. Mediation is a remarkably effective method from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. In mediation, you work out solutions to your differences rather than relying on lawyers to do so. The mediator helps you to identify the issues that need to be resolved, to communicate clearly, and to reach agreement in a cooperative way. Contrary to what people often think, mediation can be used with success even if there is a lot of conflict between you and the other person.

Mediation is called for if you want an alternative to the traditional polarized litigation process and you are willing to try to work things out first. In mediation, an environment is established that encourages patience, clear communication and respect. Difficult issues can be sorted out in a way that minimizes stress and conflict. Mediation services can be used at any stage: from pre-court disputes to disputes arising after court orders have been issued.

Miams Family Mediation Service is less expensive than litigation, because lawyers are not involved at every step of the process and because the mediation process takes less time. What is discussed in mediation is kept confidential and does not form part of any court record. Mediation results in practical agreements that reflect the specific needs of everyone involved.

Mediation does not mean that lawyers are not and should not be involved. Lawyers can provide information about legal rights and obligations, they can provide legal advice, and they can review a final agreement reached through mediation with a view to turning it into a binding legal document such as a separation agreement or a court order.

Making the choice to try mediation first when a family dispute arises (with lawyers involved at appropriate points) can prove very cost-effective, since you do most of the work and the cost of the mediator is shared between you. The lawyer’s time can then be used to focus on specific legal matters rather than on the nuts and bolts of family issues that you are best suited to work out yourselves.

Strong feelings of anger, hurt or uncertainty are normal for people who are going through the process of separation or who have separated. The mediation process helps you communicate clearly and reach workable agreements even in the face of these powerful emotions.