What is Family Mediation

Mediation is an informal and confidential way of resolving family-related issues between couples who have separated or who are thinking of separating.

Parties attempt to sort out the practical arrangements for the future in a cooperative way with the assistance of an impartial third party called a mediator.

The aim of the mediation is to help people find a solution that meets as many of their needs, and those of their children, as possible.

Mediation is not appropriate for everyone, particularly in cases where there has been violence or abuse. Where one party is afraid of or intimidated by the other party, mediation is not a good idea.

How does Mediation Work?

The mediator will meet with each individual first to collect relevant information, explain the mediation process and sign an Agreement to Mediate.

Joint mediation sessions are later scheduled to discuss family-related issues and to reach workable and practical arrangements.

The pre-mediation session will generally take one hour with mediation sessions usually lasting two to four hours per session.

There are opportunities to take breaks, see the mediator independently, or end the mediation if one of the parties does not wish to continue.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Children don’t have to take sides; so can avoid getting ‘caught in the middle’.
  • Parents may learn how to improve communication and negotiation skills, making it easier to settle future disputes.
  • Parents retain the power to determine the outcomes themselves, rather than relinquish control to someone else.
  • Parents are often better able to accept and respect a mediated agreement that they have worked out together.
  • Mediation can avoid the stress associated with an adversarial legal process.
  • Mediation can offer a quicker resolution than litigation, saving time and money.


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