Family Mediation FAQ – The Basics Covered

Over recent years, family mediation has proved to be an increasingly popular and undoubtedly more pleasant and approachable alternative to court proceedings.  Even in the fiercest of disputes and troubling situations, most parties involved in family disputes would prefer to avoid the courtroom if and when possible. From costs to duration to general approachability, finding and making use of a family mediator in Leicestershire could mean that even in separation and custody battles, the courts need never be involved.

So with this in mind, what follows is a quick introductory FAQ covering a few of the most important and basic questions on the subject of family mediation:

How Does Mediation Work?

The mediation process begins when one of the parties involved in the dispute contacts the mediator and arranges a meeting with them. During this meeting, the mediator will use the information available to determine whether or not mediation is indeed suitable given the nature and circumstances of the dispute. If it is decided that mediation is appropriate, it will then be a case of the mediator having another separate meeting with the other party in which to get their side of the story. It will only be after this that the parties may be brought together for a joint meeting.

Do I Have To Sit In The Same Room As the Other Party?

Technically speaking, it is important and highly beneficial for all parties involved in the mediation process to meet and sit in the same room. While it is possible to sit in separate rooms and have the mediator switch from one to the other or to arrange different individual meeting times, this tends to make things much more long-winded and complicated than they need to be. For the sake of all involved, it is good to be there at all times to hear everything that is said and be able to respond or argue accordingly in real time. If however you simply cannot bear to be in the same room at the same time as any given person, it technically isn’t 100% mandatory.

I’m Worried About Violence Or Aggression, What Should I Do?

If there is any concern regarding an ex partner with violent or aggressive tendencies, it is crucially important to first seek proper legal advice before going to mediation. The reason being that as mediation isn’t in any way legally binding, none of the parties involved necessarily have to follow the instructions/agreement reached and nor can the mediator tell any of the parties what to do or how to behave.

What If I Don’t Believe the Other Party Will Keep the Agreement?

Once again, as mediation is in no way legally binding there is technically nothing to stop any of the involved parties from breaking the agreement once reached.  However, in real world practice it is extremely rare for agreements to be broken as they are only reached in the first place when both parties are fully satisfied with the terms and feel that the agreement is of mutual benefit. So more often than not, agreements are upheld despite the fact that technically they don’t have to be – up at least in a legal sense.

How Much Does It Cost?

It is impossible to estimate the cost of any given mediation session or process as costs vary in accordance with the nature, complexity and duration of the process.  Simple matters can be resolved for next to nothing while much more complicated matters may take much longer periods of time and attach much higher costs.  Nevertheless, in any and all cases mediation will never cost anything close to the kind of price you would expect were you to take the matter to court.

What If I’m Intimidated and I Back Down?

The whole point of having a professional mediator with you during the negotiations is to ensure that the agreement reached is fair for both parties. As such, even if you are the kind of person who shies away from confrontation and would rather back down than get what is fair for you, the mediator will not allow this to happen but will instead help ensure the agreement reached is fair.

What Exactly Is Talked About During The Session?

Last but not least, in terms of what is actually talked about during the sessions, this will of course be determined by the nature and specifics of the dispute. If for example what was to be discussed was a financial settlement following a divorce, it would be mostly financial matters that were discussed. If on the other hand it was something of a custody dispute, finances may play a less important role.  Nevertheless, even if you aren’t entirely up to speed with the complicated specifics behind the dispute, the mediator will still ensure that any proposal or agreement reached is fair for both parties.