Approached sensitively and proactively, family mediation can be beneficial in a number of ways. Particularly when compared to the alternative options, which include complex litigation and costly court proceedings. Family mediation cannot always guarantee a successful outcome, but is nonetheless the preferred starting point for most clients and solicitors alike.
But what are the main benefits of family mediation, over and above the alternative options?
One of the biggest benefits of family mediation is the flexibility, accessibility and convenience of the process. Everything is organised at a time and place of convenience to all parties involved and can progress at the preferred speed of the participants. Bring things to a conclusion as quickly as possible, or take your time to ensure each and every issue has been fully addressed.
Flexibility also extends to the decisions reached and the overall outcome of family mediation. All decisions can be tailored to suit the preferences and priorities of those involved, rather than allowing the courts to impose decisions you have no direct control over. This is precisely why it is advisable to at least attempt to avoid court proceedings with family mediation where possible.
The role of the mediator isn’t to offer solutions or tell participants what to do. It’s simply to facilitate and encourage open communication. In turn, this allows the participants to reach their own conclusions and make their own decisions. The mediator may offer independent expert legal advice when required or prompted, but it is up to those taking part to resolve the issue through communication.
Without independent mediation, this kind of controlled communication would not be possible. Hence, it may also prove impossible to bring the dispute to a conclusion, without costly and complex court intervention.
Speaking of which, family mediation has the potential to be an exponentially more cost-effective approach to dispute resolution than court proceedings. This depends entirely on how many sessions are needed and the nature/complexity of the dispute, but mediation is almost always a fast and affordable approach to resolving disputes.
In addition, the costs are usually shared among those taking part. Whereas with court proceedings, all costs incurred may be payable by whoever ‘loses’ the case and is ordered to cover the costs by the courts.
Lastly, there’s much to be said for the privacy and discretion of professional family mediation. If you’d prefer to keep your disputes and issues as private as possible, it makes sense to avoid court involvement.Family mediation guarantees your total privacy and discretion, as all sessions are carried out behind closed doors in the strictest confidence.
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