Family Law – what is mediation and is it helpful?

divorce law mediation

Family Law Mediation, in its most honest form, simply means the last chance you have to make the decisions, as Parents regarding your children, and/ or property matters.

If you forgo these decisions, then you will be letting a judge decide the most important matters in your life, ie., what times you see your children, and/or who gets what from your assets. (Personally, I do not understand how anyone would want someone else deciding these things; someone that doesn’t know you and doesn’t care about the details of your personal matters like you do.)

Mediation is the process of Dispute Resolution that involves the parties using an independent third person to help resolve their matters. Mediation can occur before any court proceedings start, or during the court process. I would say that the vast majority of my Family Law matters do resolve at Mediation. It is not only a more cost-effective option, but is far less emotionally stressful than proceeding to court to let a Judge decide what is best for your family.

The significance of the toll on people’s emotional health and mental wellbeing during Family Law matters cannot be emphasised enough. If you go through the court process, in the vast majority of cases, your stress levels and emotional health will be significantly affected. This increases the longer your matter remains unresolved. Mediation as soon as possible is a great solution that we strongly encourage.

What I advocate in my office when dealing with Family Law matters is to do what you can to resolve this matter as quickly as you can: without giving up; without throwing stones; and most importantly, with the focus on the outcome you wish to see, rather than what happened in the past.

Trust me when I say: if your matter is resolved by you, and quickly, you will be immensely relieved. You can then start living the remainder of your life, —because sometimes we need to be reminded that we only have one life—don’t waste it on the stress and cost that comes with Family Law!

Obviously, some matters cannot be resolved quickly and early with mediation, but in my experience, the vast majority of matters that I have dealt with can, and often are.

On a personal note, enjoy your holidays and we look forward to writing more columns for you in 2020.

This column is not legal advice as it does not take into consideration your individual facts and you ought seek independent legal advice.