Divorce and the issues that result from it (property settlement, child custody etc) are notoriously messy when it comes to the legal process of resolving them. The film and television stereotype of bitter ex-lovers spending months or even years arguing in court for custody of their children or ownership of the house is one that’s anchored in real-world truth.
In recent decades, there has been a shift to dealing with these issues in a more controlled and cooperative manner. This is because cases that are handled in an adversarial manner often leave one party better off while the other feels cheated by society and may fall into vice.
In Australia, its recognised that it is much better to handle divorce as a mature separation of two adults rather than a hate-fuelled and adversarial battle to get away with as much as possible. Processes like family law mediation help to dispute couples avoid having a lengthy and emotionally draining court battle.
What is family law mediation?
It is a dispute resolution process by which a supervising ‘family law mediator’ sits down with you, your ex and your solicitors to work out what the best path forward is. The point of the process is to get everyone talking on an even footing where it can be monitored by an unbiased third party.
This prevents one party from attempting to intimidate or apply leverage over the other to get an unfair deal. It also keeps everything professional, with mechanisms to prevent you and your ex from getting into a shouting match or refusing to work with one another.
For disputing ex-partner that can’t stand to see or speak to each other, family law mediation is often the catalyst required to restart a productive conversation. Often, when these initial walls are broken down, the process can be surprisingly smooth and over much quicker than expected.
What are some of the benefits of family law mediation?
The chief benefit of using family law mediation is that you are able to avoid having to go to court and engaging in a lengthy court battle that will be both emotionally and financially draining. However, there are some other reasons why it’s so popular:
- Long-lasting deals everyone can be happy with
A major advantage of family law mediation, argues www.osullivanmediation.com.au is that the arrangements that are agreed to via this process are generally longer-lasting and less likely to be disputed later on. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that the issue is well and truly behind you and that you can live your life freely.
- A focus on the welfare of the children
This process is also beneficial in that it has a unique focus on the welfare of children (if you have any). Through all discussions, the primary concern is ensuring the welfare of children before deciding on other factors. This also helps you and your ex find common ground as you both sincerely care about the kids and want what is best for them.
- A comfortable environment
Another bonus of family law mediation is that it will take place in a facility specifically designed for lengthy negotiations. It will come equipped with everything you and your ex could possibly need to work out your issues and come to a mutually agreeable settlement.
Hopefully the above has given you some valuable insight into family law mediation in Australia.