Mediation can be a great alternative to court to resolve family law disputes. It can be less expensive, faster, and more personalized than going to court, which may help you reach a creative agreement that works for you. While many people still think of mediation as a slower and nonbinding way of resolving their family disputes, the process is often quite fast and binding. The following are some tips for anyone considering whether to mediate:
1. Get a Lawyer with Experience in Family Mediation
If you have a family law dispute and have the option of mediation, you will likely want to consider the advantages of mediation over litigation. However, you should talk to a lawyer before deciding whether to mediate. A lawyer with experience in family law mediation can explain the pros and cons of litigation compared to mediation and help you choose a mediator who will be a good fit for your case.
2. Tell Your Mediator All the Details of the Matter
A good family mediator is not just a third-party mediator—they are a neutral, confidential facilitator who makes sure both sides in the dispute have a chance to state their case and make their views on the matter heard in a nonjudgmental manner. The mediator will want to know everything about your case and your relationship with the other party to facilitate the mediation process. If you are the mediator, you will want to ask your clients to be open and honest with you.
3. Make Sure the Mediation Process is Confidential
Mediation must be kept on a strict need-to-know basis. Family matters are often very personal, and the mediator will want you to feel comfortable talking openly in the mediation sessions. Confidentiality is crucial to this process. A mediator will likely be asked to make a statement about what transpired in the mediation sessions and the settlement negotiations, so it is best to have a mediator who can make this statement with a clear conscience.
4. Provide All Necessary Disclosure
Both parties will be asked to give the other side all necessary information about the case for mediation. You will be asked to disclose all relevant facts about your case and your relationship with the other party. You can expect to be asked to reveal any documents and make relevant witnesses available. You will also be asked to give an estimate of your financial situation.
5. Be Willing to Compromise
Family mediation is a collaborative process. It is a way to resolve conflict related to family issues. However, the other party will not want to just give up all their rights to satisfy you. If you want to reach a mediated settlement, you will have to be willing to compromise. You will also have to be willing to compromise your pride and control. Although this may be difficult and stressful, it can help you in the long run.
Although mediation does not always lead to settlements, it can be an excellent alternative to litigation for resolving family law disputes. However, it is not always the best solution, and sometimes litigation is the only option. The following are some things you should think about before choosing family mediation.
Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing.
We ensure that our clients feel confident and secure that their wishes will be followed. If you need family mediation services in British Columbia, call us at 604-539-2103 today.