Family law mediation is the process by which issues that result from the breakdown of a marital relationship (child custody arrangements, division of marital assets, etc) are dealt with in professionally guided and confidential negotiation between both parties. This process differs from a private negotiation between ex’s where emotions can often obfuscate the process and make it hard to reach an agreeable compromise.
The following will explore some of the main reasons family law mediation is becoming more popular in Australia as a means of addressing both commonplace and complex disputes between ex-partners.
1. The court system is already backlogged with cases
The Australian family court system is notoriously overburdened with pending cases for disputes over things like child custody and property settlement where the parties were unable to reach an out-of-court settlement. This is mainly because, in the past, many couples never even attempted to negotiate and went straight to litigation, seeking to ‘win’ a victory against their former lover.
Increasingly, judges have attempted to encourage a less adversarial approach to how marriage breakdowns are handled and seek to ensure the best interests of any children are protected. Nowadays, it’s a requirement that you prove to a judge you made a sincere attempt at a form of dispute resolution before seeking litigation.
This is all done to avoid these complex and difficult-to-quantify issues being argued over in court, which is always a costly and stressful process for everyone involved. The vast majority of contemporary cases are solved via family law mediation or a functionally identical process.
2. The outcomes reached are fairer and longer-lasting
The actual outcomes that result from family law mediation are generally much fairer and longer-lasting than those reached through courtroom litigation. This is due to the fact that both parties get to say their piece, be counseled by their solicitor, and argue their case without any hindrance or interference from a judge.
This means that when you reach a deal via family law mediation, it’s more than likely the fairest possible split that can be achieved. This process effectively puts the matter to bed with long-lasting, carefully thought out solutions that are far less likely to be disputed later on.
The last thing you want is to get custody of your children, only to have your ex change their mind years later and start a new dispute with you. This process allows you to have the best chance of avoiding these issues reappearing in your life.
3. It’s cheaper than fighting a court battle
Of course, there is a non-trivial difference in the cost between family law mediation and a lengthy court battle. Fighting your ex in front of a judge can cost you thousands with no guarantee you will get the outcome you are seeking.
According to osullivanmediation.com, on the other hand, family law mediation is a fraction of the cost of regular courtroom litigation and takes far less time. It’s simply much better to deal with disputes with this cost-efficient method.
4. It protects the interests of your children
Another important benefit of family law mediation is that it puts the best interests of the child first. This means that, throughout all talks, the key consideration will be the future well-being of any children you share as they are normally the worst affected victims of any marital separation.