Family Mediation: An Alternative Approach to Resolving Family Disputes

Family disputes can be challenging and emotionally charged. They can be particularly difficult when they involve sensitive matters such as divorce, child custody, and spousal support. Unfortunately, going to court is not always the best option, as it can be time-consuming, costly, and adversarial.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to litigation: family mediation. Family mediation is a process in which a neutral third-party mediator helps family members to resolve their disputes through discussion, negotiation, and compromise. Mediation is less costly and less time-consuming than going to court, and it can help family members to reach agreements that are tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

In family mediation, the mediator does not make decisions or impose solutions on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to identify their interests, needs, and concerns, and facilitates discussions between them to help them reach agreements that are mutually acceptable. The mediator can also provide information about legal and financial issues, but does not provide legal advice.

One of the key benefits of family mediation is that it can help to preserve relationships between family members. Unlike litigation, which can often create or exacerbate animosity between parties, mediation can help family members to communicate effectively, clarify misunderstandings, and find common ground. Mediation can also be particularly helpful when children are involved, as it can help parents to develop parenting plans that are in the best interests of their children.

In addition to being less adversarial than litigation, family mediation can also be less stressful and more empowering for family members. Because the parties are in control of the outcome, they are more likely to be satisfied with the results of mediation than with the results of a court case. Mediation can also help family members to develop communication and conflict-resolution skills that can be helpful in resolving future disputes.

Overall, family mediation can be an effective and beneficial way to resolve family conflicts when spouses separate.  If you are facing a separation, consider exploring mediation as a way to find a resolution that works for you and your family. As a certified family mediator, and having practised family law for well over 30 years, Graeme Fraser is experienced in family mediation and can help guide you through the process. Contact us to learn more.