Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Journal Fact
What is divorce mediation? Many couples planning to separate ask this question, but trying to provide a quick or easy answer omits important details. What you need is a thorough response that describes how mediation will impact your divorce and family. Here, we provide that information to help you plan accordingly for your future.
This process allows couples to reach amicable agreements about finances, property, and child care with the help of an impartial third person. This person facilitates negotiations without making demands. If a history of domestic violence is present, a mediator can create a safe space where both parties are free to speak.
Mediation often takes place in a neutral location. The mediator will allow each party to present their case, and after, couples often split into separate rooms to engage in shuttle mediation. This simply means the mediator goes back and forth between the parties to identify where compromise is possible.
Divorce mediation is compulsory, as outlined by Australia’s Family Law Act 1975, but it also offers the chance for a respectful resolution of differences. The goal is to reach agreements both parties can accept, especially in terms of parenting plans. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator can put the plan to paper and present it to the Court, where it will likely be formalized as a binding agreement.
In comparison to Australian courts, mediation can provide a more timely and affordable path to dispute resolution. Parties also enjoy greater input into the outcomes, meaning they help control the terms of their separation.
Australian court processes have been described as fragmented, slow, and expensive. These traits can prolong the separation process and have lasting effects on children. Mediation, on the other hand, helps hasten divorce proceedings so families can focus on healing.
Court cases provide details of your separation to the public, but mediation is a strictly confidential event. Mediators are bound by strict rules of confidentiality and will never disclose your personal information to anyone else. The only time they will break this code is if they’re required by law to do so, such as in a case of child endangerment.
Mediators understand divorce is traumatic. They undergo extensive training that allows them to help both parties explore possible solutions without needing the Court’s assistance. If spouses cannot agree on significant issues, however, those issues will be decided by a Judge of the Family Court.
The implications here are clear. Going to court means enduring more conflict, financial pressures, and stress. If Court is ultimately necessary, you have the advantage of resolving at least some issues with mediation.
Divorcing through mediation can reduce the time, expense, and emotional toll associated with separation. It takes place before an impartial third person and allows parties to respectfully settle their differences. Mediation also provides greater input into the divorce process, and details remain completely confidential. In short, mediation allows your family to begin the healing process more quickly than Court proceedings.