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Family Mediation Process: Step By Step Guide

Families that are involved in disputes can seek help through a negotiation process called Family Mediation. It is an ideal alternative process to resolve disputes within families who want to avoid getting involved in an emotionally draining court system. Members of a family come together to find solutions with the help of a neutral third party and settle on common grounds and mutual agreements. In Victoria, family mediation processes are precise to have a better comprehension of the subject matter.  We have mentioned some prominent benefits that you must consider before engaging with this process .

Benefits of Mediation

  • For families having financial difficulties, the mediation process can be an affordable option. It is less expensive and issues can be resolved within a few sessions. 
  • It is highly a personalised process. Sessions can either take place face to face in a neutral environment, in a separate room with the mediator or over telephone conference. 
  • It is an informal process and the parties involved need not require to hire lawyers to settle the disputes.
  • It further helps in persevering relationships and avoid emotionally draining the parties involved. 

Family Mediation Process

Furthermore, in this article, we have mentioned various steps implied in this approach such as:

Preparation 

Before the beginning of the mediation process, the mediator approaches the party involved and guides them in the process. The mediator will answer all your questions and you need to give a brief explanation of the issues you wish to mediate on. The discussion usually happens over a phone call, however, it can be done as per the preferences of the family. 

Introduction

On the day of mediation or the first day of the sessions, the mediator passes an opening statement. The statement addresses a description of the role of the mediator and the participants. The mediator introduces the parties involved about the ground rules and how the process will further be conducted. The mediator will then ask both parties to agree on the continuation of this process. 

Problem statement

To have a better understanding of the issue, the mediator will give each party a chance to speak and summarise their positions. In addition, the mediator will ask about any problem they have in their own opening statements, if yes then the issue will be addressed or else the process will move on to the next step. 

Joint discussion

The next step in the family mediation process is the joint discussion. During the session, family members are given an opportunity to sit together along with the mediator and discuss their issues. The mediator will try to resolve the issues described by each party by asking open-end questions in order to seek any additional information.  Through this discussion, the mediator will analyse the problem and figure out what issues can be resolved first. 

Private discussion

Furthermore, both parties involved will be given a chance to discuss their opinions and thoughts on the issues privately with the mediator along with their support person or lawyer. This way the mediator will be able to get a better opportunity to identify key issues and prepare for the negotiation process. 

Negotiation

Having all the information on the table, the mediator will now help both parties to explore their agreement options. The aim of this part of the process is to narrow the issue and allow the participants to reach an overall agreement that they can be content with. Besides, the mediator will also be able to decide the number of sessions that are needed to resolve the dispute. 

Agreement 

In the final part of the process, if both parties come to an agreement, the mediator will draft an agreement in writing. That will conclude the legal binding of the agreement that both parties wish to settle on. 

If you wish to learn more about The Family Mediation process in Melbourne you can visit our Bayside Mediation service for the same. We can help you and your former spouse in guiding the mediation process in Melbourne and find significant solutions to your personal problems.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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