Family law mediation, also known as family dispute resolution service, is a service that helps you and members of your family resolve law disputes with the help of a third party or mediator. These issues commonly involve parenting, separation and divorce.
There are plenty of advantages to the arrangement.
- It’s voluntary. One or both parties can leave anytime they want.
- It provides both parties with a way to work through their problems to a reasonable solution.
- It helps focus the attention of both parties to the matter at hand: the best interests of their children, if there are any.
- It can ease the tension between the two parties, allowing for communication and problem solving discussions that are less strained, hostile or belligerent.
- It’s less formal than meeting in court and certainly a more low-cost option
- It keeps your private business private.
The Huffington Post says the best way to ensure a successful mediation is to keep people out as much of it as possible. This is to prevent the Greek Chorus Effect from happening, which refers to the way a circle of well-meaning friends and family encourage one party to act aggressively against the other one.
Your mediator isn’t and shouldn’t be replaced by a lawyer. A mediator can be anyone with the right training and skills to help both parties resolve issues.
Aside from mediators, having a family law attorney with you can help a lot in ensuring you know what legal rights you and your child are entitled to. And given the long arm of the law, they’ll let you know how those same laws affect any issues you might have. You’ll also find it convenient and handy to have a lawyer review any mediated agreements before you sign them. That’s one way to make sure you’ve legally covered all your bases.