Why you should consider child custody mediation over the court process
Going through litigation, for any legal issues, can be a tedious process. It’s often lengthy, it can be costly, and it can be incredibly stressful for all parties involved.
When it comes to family law issues, and in particular those involving children, the impact of litigation can increase exponentially.
That’s why many people when dealing with issues like child custody often opt for out-of-court resolution options such as mediation.
Here are the benefits, and why you should consider child custody mediation over the court process.
It Focuses On Creative Problem Solving
Unlike the court process whereby a decision is made on your behalf, child custody mediation is an interest based process where both parents sit down with an independent third party to assist them in reaching a mutually agreed solution and parenting plan.
A mediator will not make any decisions, but will employ a number of techniques to help the parents involved come up with solutions that best serve their children.
It Can Be Healing
Reaching an agreement relating to child custody via mediation with someone you’ve struggled to communicate effectively with for a long period of time can be incredibly healing for a parent. It can also be incredibly healing for a child who unavoidably may have been caught in the middle and also endured stress.
Mediation focuses on what's best for the children. It also teaches parents about the importance of separating their own needs from the child, and equips them with the skills to do it. Another benefit is that mediation won’t focus on what’s happened in the past; its about setting up a positive framework for successful parenting, and parent-child and parent-parent relationships into the future.
Child custody issues are often very sensitive matters, which is why mediation is a great option for ensuring issues at hand are discussed privately.
As per section 97 of the Family Law Act 1975, in most circumstances, courts and their decisions are accessible to the public to reflect Open Justice. When it comes to children and family matters, Section 121 does try to strike a balance between the need for openness, and a family’s right to privacy, by making it an offence to publish proceedings that identify persons or witnesses involved in family law proceedings. But, this means that facts of the case are still often available to view by the general public.
Mediation, on the other hand, is completely confidential. The details are not made public, and the contents of the mediation are not disclosed to a judge. In addition, for the most part, information that is produced or discussed in mediation cannot be used in any current or subsequent arbitral or judicial proceedings.
It’s Generally a Quicker Process
The process of litigation can often be very drawn out, sometimes with multiple court appearances required set far into the future.
Mediation is often much quicker. A mediation session is scheduled for a half day or a day, depending on the number of parties and issues involved. Following this, your parenting plan could be implemented within months or even weeks of the decision being made.
It’s Less Expensive
When you opt for child custody mediation, you avoid the costs involved with preparing and running a trial through the court process.
In addition to that, if you are unsuccessful at a trial, you may be ordered to pay the legal costs incurred by your former spouse, which can be very costly.
Want To Speak To Someone About Child Custody Mediation Options?
Pullos Lawyers founder Cassandra Pullos is an industry leader in the field of Mediation and has built a reputation for delivering exceptional results that reflect her future-focused, problem solving approach to mediation. If you would like to find out more about how we can assist with child custody mediation, or any other specialties including divorce law, and spending time with your children, please get in touch with us via email, or call to speak to one of our Gold Coast family lawyers on 07 5526 3646 or one of our Brisbane family lawyers, on 07 3144 1641.