Advantages and Disadvantages of Family Mediation
Family mediation is a popular Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method to settle disputes between ex-spouses and separated parents. A neutral family mediator assists parties to negotiate a resolution for their dispute and reach a settlement.
In recent years, more and more divorcing couples prefer family mediation instead of expensive, emotionally draining, and lengthy court battles. Not many people know that mediation has been used since ancient times to resolve disputes, however, it became part of the legal process in the 1990s.
About Family Mediation
The family mediation process starts with a mediator making a call to each party to talk about the procedure followed by having a meeting with the individuals concerned separately. Subsequently, joint meetings with both parties will be arranged to discuss resolutions for disputes like child arrangements and financial settlements.
This ADR method has several benefits and a few disadvantages.
Advantages of Family Mediation
Here are a number of advantages to mediating conflicts:
Control of the Process – Compared to litigation, parties enjoy greater control of the process – they can refuse to accept the arrangements if it does not suit them. This is not the case when you choose to go to court as you will have to accept the decision imposed by the judge. A neutral third-party mediating a dispute is not allowed to advise or provide judgment on a case.
Speedy – Mediation allows individuals to negotiate and agree on a settlement within a couple of days or weeks. On the other hand, it can take months to resolve disputes through court proceedings.
Inexpensive – Most parties choose family mediation as it promises significant cost savings. Both parties can split the cost of the mediation process evenly and can avoid expenses associated with the litigation. If successful, it is considerably cheaper.
Flexibility – Both parties will feel relaxed and calm as they would not be cross-examined or expected to answer difficult questions in front of a room full of people. This flexible process allows individuals to explore a variety of outcomes, which is not always possible with court trials. Mediation meetings can be arranged for a place and time convenient for the concerned parties.
High-profile clients and celebrities often choose the confidential family mediation process to keep the details of their cases out of the public eye.
Disadvantages of Family Mediation
Here are a few disadvantages to the mediation process:
Not Mandatory – Even if the parties reach an agreement by virtue of a mediation, they still have to contact their own solicitors to submit an application to the Court which makes it legally binding.
Unresolved Issues – If the parties are not willing to agree or cooperate, the issues will remain resolved, leaving them with no other options but to go to court to have their disputes settled.
Results Are Not Guaranteed – It is not mandatory for the couple to reach an agreement through the mediation process. Neither party can be confident that all their disputes will be resolved.
Difficult Negotiations – Since both parties can negotiate without the mediator providing judgment, it could lead them to believe that they can demand more.
Wasted Costs of Mediation – If unsuccessful, the costs of mediation will be wasted and both parties would still have to pay for the court process.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss that may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.
About the Author
Signup for Updates
- 28 November 2022
- 18 November 2022
- 21 October 2022