It’s often said that friends are the family members you actually get to choose. It’s true that you can’t pick your family because your birth dictates who they are. Naturally, you’re not always going to get along.
However, it’s also common for married couples to grow apart, which can lead to fights and other unpleasantries. When it comes time to separate, family mediation can be beneficial.
But what is family mediation and what do family mediators do? Is it better than hiring an attorney?
We’re here to answer all of your questions. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
1. What is Family Mediation?
Family mediation is an alternative to legal actions or litigation processes.
Instead of working with a lawyer, you and the other party work together through face-to-face mediated conversation to resolve a conflict. This is process is less stressful and less confrontational.
The purpose of family mediation is to come to a mutual agreement through respectful communication.
2. What Does a Family Mediator Do?
A family mediator is not there to take sides or represent a single client. Their job is to serve as a neutral party to help the conflicting members of a family communicate fairly, clearly, and with intention.
A family mediator will help you speak your truth, and genuinely listen to the other party. They will do this for both sides.
Additionally, a family mediator will help you identify the major conflicts and present possible solutions. They will work with both parties to come to a mutual agreement. At this point, a contract will be drafted and reviewed for both parties to sign.
3. How Does Separation Mediation Differ From Divorce Litigation?
Family law can be incredibly challenging to navigate. Aside from the legalities of divorce, inheritance, child custody, and other issues, there is also the emotional factor.
Family law mediation works to mitigate the negative feelings and potential conflicts that arise while discussing these issues. For example, separation mediation helps separating spouses work together.
Working with divorce lawyers, conversely, creates several separate lines of communication. Everything is handled through both parties’ lawyers. Not only can this muddy up the waters, but it’s also more expensive.
Instead of paying for a single-family mediator, each spouse pays for a divorce lawyer. Generally speaking, a lawyer’s hourly rate is much higher than that of a family mediator.
4. What Kinds of Situations Do Family Mediators Handle?
Finally, you might be wondering what kinds of situations call for family mediation. Obviously, divorcing and separating couples can benefit from these types of services. Family mediators can help them decide what to do about:
- Child custody
- Parental rights
- Shared assets
- And more
However, family mediators can also handle issues between siblings, parents, children, and distant relatives. Issues often arise when a loved one passes based on the will. It’s not uncommon for family members to argue about who gets what and what is and isn’t fair.
Do You Need Family Mediation Services?
If you and your family are in conflict, family mediation services can help you find a peaceful and agreeable resolution. We hope we were able to answer your most important questions.
But if you’re looking for more personal advice, stick around for a while and look through some of the other articles on our blog. Our website is full of content created to help people like you find the answers they seek.