Family law mediation is a process by which couples and families settle disputes related to separation, divorce, parenting, finances, child custody and support, property division and elder care in a non-adversarial setting with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator. The goal is to help the participants reach their own agreements that work for them. The process can be a great alternative to going to court and often is more cost-effective, faster, less contentious and more private.
Whether you are experiencing a difficult relationship or have already been in a long-term marriage, it can be challenging to resolve disputes with your spouse, parents, children and other relatives. When conflicts arise, it can lead to emotional stress, financial hardship, and damaged relationships. Family conflict can also affect your children, who are often impacted more than you expect.
This is why family conflict mediation services are important. The objective is to assist parties in reaching their own settlements without going to court, which can be expensive, stressful, and take up a lot of your time. A trained and experienced family mediator can guide you through the process and help you come up with solutions that will be acceptable to everyone involved.
When you choose to participate in a family mediation service, you and your spouse or partner, along with any attorneys you may have retained, will meet with a professional family mediator. The mediation sessions are typically held at a convenient time and location for the participants, and can be as frequent or as little as you prefer. Sessions can be conducted face-to-face or via video conference, depending on the circumstances. During sessions, the mediator will ask you to discuss any issues you have and what your goals are in terms of resolution.
While legal issues are a central aspect of any dispute, it is not uncommon for participants to want to address non-legal matters as well. Some of these issues may include:
Once all the relevant information is gathered, a settlement agreement will be drafted. The participants are given the opportunity to read through the settlement agreement before signing. If there are any adjustments, the mediator can make them in collaboration with you.
You can find a qualified and experienced family mediator by asking for referrals or reading reviews. Look for a family mediator with the proper credentials, including being certified by the New York State Bar Association as a family mediator or having a background in family law. A reputable mediator will also have experience handling complex cases with high-conflict parties. You can also ask for references from past clients or other professionals who have worked with the mediator. Also, pay attention to the mediator’s negotiation style and approach. Some may be facilitative while others are evaluative. You should choose a mediator whose style aligns with your own. This will help you get through the process quickly and smoothly. family mediation services