Family mediation is a process that can help parents resolve issues related to the care and upbringing of their children. It is a less expensive alternative to litigation. Mediation allows for the flexibility to find solutions that are unique to each family’s situation.
In addition, it can be easier on the emotional health of the parties and their children. The process is usually less stressful and more efficient than the traditional adversarial court proceedings that can be very lengthy, emotionally exhausting and costly.
The aim of family mediation is to help parents reach a mutually acceptable agreement on parenting issues and/or financial arrangements following separation. It can also be used to address changes in existing arrangements. The mediator will encourage the parents to discuss their needs and objectives in a safe environment where both sides are respected and understood. The mediator will then assist the parties in finding workable solutions to their conflicts and will teach them interpersonal communication skills that can be used outside of mediation.
Family mediators are trained professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, law or social work. In addition, most family mediators have completed a specialized program in mediation training that involves a combination of classroom study and mentorship/observation hours. The Family Mediation Council maintains a register of family mediators. You can search the register by keying in your post code or by entering a professional name. Once you find a mediator, contact them to make an appointment.