So you’ve decided to go down the mediation route – but exactly what can you expect from family mediation?
In short, you can expect:
- a high prospect of mutually resolving difficult family law issues;
- a quick resolution of the conflict;
- a cost-effective way to resolve the dispute; and
- a significant reduction in stress levels.
None of this would occur if you had to resolve matters through lawyers and the Family Court.
Once you have agreed to mediation, the process itself is fairly straightforward and easy. The tricky bit is getting you and your ex to agree!
But don’t stress, because that’s our job.
We’ll help both you and your ex to find a way forward that you can both live with, which means your separation and divorce will be as stress-free as we can make it.
Here are the main steps you can expect as part of your family mediation process.
Family Mediation Step 1 – Mediation Assessment
Firstly, we need to assess the situation. We’ll take time to talk to you , either on the phone or in person , about your situation and whether the issues you are confronting are suitable for mediation.
We’ll also answer all your questions about the process, how long it takes and the costs involved. We will also send you detailed information if you require it.
Family Mediation Step 2 – Discuss Mediation With The Other Party
If you agree to go ahead with family mediation, we then get in touch with your ex (or the other party, for example a grandparent or other family member who might be involved).
We’ll discuss mediation with them and, if necessary, seek their agreement to participate in the process.
Family Mediation Step 3 – Formal Agreement To Mediate
Once parties have agreed to mediate, we set the date and venue for the mediation and send you a formal Agreement To Mediate.
It’s also at this stage that we issue our invoices for the fixed fee which we have agreed with you (usually payable equally by each party).
Family Mediation Step 4 – Intake Sessions
A couple of days before the mediation takes place, we hold confidential discussions with each party individually.
In these sessions – again in person or by telephone, as you prefer – we go into detail about your circumstances and what you want to achieve from mediation. This helps us to understand the background, the issues and give us some ideas about ways to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.
These intake sessions take as long as we need, there’s no time limit.
Family Mediation Step 5 – The Mediation Session
On the day of the mediation, we will meet with you and the other party at an agreed venue and time.
Sometimes people want to bring someone with them for emotional support or a lawyer. This is fine provided all parties have agreed to this. If you bring someone for emotional support, they cannot participate in the mediation; they can only sit with you during the session.
At the mediation we will work with both of you on the issues that require resolution and try to reach an agreement on everything you have raised at the intake sessions. Everyone gets an opportunity to put their position and issues forward.
Family Mediation Step 5 – Agreement Reached At Mediation
Most people we work with reach an agreement at mediation. In fact, in over 90% of our mediations the parties agree at least some of the issues which were in dispute and over 75% of our mediations result in full resolution of all of the issues.
Once you have reached your agreement, we will draft a detailed documentsetting out the terms of the Agreement Reached At Mediation. This can then be used as a Parenting Plan, as a basis to apply for Consent Orders in the Family Court, as the basis for further negotiations or discussions, or to obtain further independent legal advice. A further mediation may be required where the agreement which was reached requires further changes or the parties want to negotiate new terms.
If you do not reach an agreement at mediation, you may have to take your case to the Family Court. Mediation may help you to understand that an amicable agreement is not possible and that you now need a third party to make your decisions for you.
If you cannot reach an agreement on all issues, you may be able to limit the matters which the Family Court has to determine for you.
Hopefully this answers the question of what can you expect from family mediation.
If you think family mediation might be right for you, talk to Move On Mediation today.
When it comes to family mediation in Perth, we’ve got decades of experience, including personal experience of the divorce process.
We know it’s a stressful time for everyone involved, so let us reduce that significantly through effective and affordable family mediation.