Popular Questions Family Mediation
Why is mediation more cost effective than a court case?
Mediation works out more cost effective as you do not have to pay expensive legal fees, lawyer’s fees or any other court related costs. Mediators typically charge per session, unlike lawyers, who require a retainer. This process is also faster which ends up saving a lot of money.
Can mediation work even when the divorce is hostile?
Studies have shown that mediation is effective even in highly contested cases where one or both partners are angry or meotions are running high after the breakdown of the relationship. Mediation is an effective way of negotiating emotionally wrought relationships and finding a solution agreeable to both parties. However, mediation is not recommended in divorces where abuse, child negligence or violence is pertinent.
Will we have to go to court?
All mediation sessions happen in an out of court environment, and if you and your partner reach a mutual agreement, all the legal documents and forms can be signed in the mediator’s office itself. This results in a legal and binding divorce without stepping inside a court room.
What are the advantages of mediation ?
- No need for court cases
- Quick and speedy process
- Its Voluntary
- Its Confidential
- You control the decision making
- Cost effective
- Less stress for the whole family
- Open and effective communication
- Decisions are mutually agreed upon
Is there a right or wrong time to mediate?
The quicker you go in for mediation, the better. Mediation at an early stage can prevent the level of communication from deteriorating further and can help keep the discussion focused on pertinent issues.
What issues can mediators help resolve?
What are the legal implications of mediation?
Mediation can culminate in a legal and binding divorce, if all the proper documents are signed and submitted according to the correct procedure and signed by a judge of the court. Verbally agreed upon decisions are not considered legally binding until they are transformed into legal documents.
Will my privacy and legal rights be protected?
The mediated decision has to be agreed upon by all parties and no decision can be forced upon anyone. Mediation is an entirely voluntary process. A mediator cannot use anything said in a mediation session against you in a court of law. The mediator cannot reveal what is said in a private session to any other parties, including the other partner.
How long will it take to finalize the divorce via mediation?
It generally takes 3-6 mediation sessions of 1-3 hours each to reach a mediated agreement. After this, the divorce papers have to be signed by the courts which can take anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months.
Will mediation help my ex-partner and I reach child custody and contact agreements?
Mediation is one of the best ways to help divorcing or separating partners negotiate child care and custody related issues. Whether it is a complicated case of a hostile divorce or a mutually decided upon separation, many aspects related to child care have to be decided such as identifying the primary caretaker or caretakers, establishing where the children will stay, deciding the extent to which each partner can remain in contact with the children etc.
Are parental agreements arrived at during mediation binding and effective?
Agreements related to parenting and childcare tend to be much more effective and more easily adhered to when they come from the partners themselves, rather a third party judge. Such agreements become binding when they are listed as the terms of the divorce, on which a court judge signs off. Going forward, the agreed upon terms of parenting have to be adhered to by the partners. During the mediation session, every aspect of child care, from the finance and custody to the housing and disciplinary measures, can be discussed and clarified. Each partner’s role and communication channels can and should be properly discussed.
How can mediation help in determining maintenance payments?
During mediation, all aspects of the finances of the family are discussed thoroughly, with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreed upon decision about how finances will look for each member of the family post divorce. Maintenance payments, whether for an ex-partner, a child or both, are often demanded from the richer partner. The exact amount and frequency of these can be decided upon during mediation. Mediators do not provide financial or legal advice, but instead, inform partners of their legal positions and encourage them to arrive at a compromise which suits all parties.
Whatever is agreed upon, is included in the divorce terms and is considered legally binding.
How can mediation help resolve issued between divorcing partners with different parent styles?
Mediation is very useful for divorcing couples with disparate parenting styles. It provides an atmosphere for discussion where differences of opinions don’t necessarily lead to a breakdown of communication. Unlike the rigid and formal court environment, the mediation sessions are open and free flowing. The goal here is to arrive at a mutually agreed upon decision about key issues pertaining to parenting, in the new, post-divorce environment. A mediator encourages partners to set aside emotional entanglements and old grudges, and instead focus on creating a strong and healthy parenting model for the children going forward, one which has room to encompass different viewpoints. Rather than seeing each other as adversaries, partners are helped to view each other as helpmates in their quest to give their children a stable home life.