The benefits of mediation for families

February 1, 2021

The breakdown of a family is a sad and stressful situation. When disputes drag on in The Family Court, family separation can have an even greater effect on the kids. The more they know about the disputes, the worse the situation can be on them. It’s nearly impossible to go on with life as usual whilst grappling with the knowledge that things will never be the same. Opting for mediation instead of family court is one way parents can help their kids.

What is mediation?
Mediation (also referred to Family Dispute Resolution) is an alternative to family court that is used by many separating and divorcing couples. It takes place in a casual setting with a professionally trained mediator (or mediators) who help people work on agreements and on finding the best outcomes for their children. Participants might discuss issues including:

  • Child maintenance payments
  • Parenting arrangements such as where the children will live and where they will go to school
  • Financial issues such as paying for their home, distribution of other assets, and the payment of debts
  • Visitation with grandparents

It is to everyone’s benefit to reach an agreement through mediation. Not only is mediation easier on the children, but it offers a few advantages to the adult members of the family including:

  • Less stress on the adults – Stress can impact every area of a person’s life – including their parenting. Kids pick up on their parents’ stress levels, leading to more anxiety and unrest in the home.
  • Confidentiality – Everything that happens in family court is a matter of public record. Mediation is a private process that prevents kids from learning any details that they don’t need to know.
  • Faster – Court cases sometimes drag out for months or even years. This leads to uncertainty for all involved. Mediation provides a fast resolution so families can get on with their lives.
  • Costs less – The longer a case stays in court, the more it costs. Mediation can costs hundreds of dollars, in comparison to a court case that might cost many thousands. That leaves more money to pay for what the kids need and to settle into your new lives instead of paying lawyers!

 

Mediation encourages a greater willingness for compromise. Instead of trying to “win” the case against the other parent, each person strives to do what is best for the kids.

If the couple cannot resolve their issues through mediation, the case will go to family court. The judge will decide the outcome and both sides must abide. In mediation, both sides must agree to any resolution. No one can make either party accept any agreement that they don’t want.

The breakdown of their family has a long-lasting impact on children of any age. They sometimes blame themselves or think they aren’t important any more. We offer a broad range of services to help divorcing or separating couples get the best outcome for their kids. Kids often have trouble moving forward with their lives once their family is no longer together. They might feel unsure or unhappy about going back to school. It is especially difficult when they are experiencing other big changes such as moving house and potentially going to a new school.

We recently produced a series of videos specifically for separated parents focusing on a range of topics including:

  • We’re newly separated – what’s next and preparing for mediation
  • Effective communication
  • Controlling your emotions during separation
  • Protecting kids during separation
  • The importance of co-parenting

All of these videos can be viewed here.

Our Family Dispute Resolution & Mediation services are offered at all of our Family Centres – Artarmon, Brookvale,  Waitara and Tuggerah. We offer in person sessions as well as online. Please call 1800 324 924 for more information or email info@catholiccaredbb.org.au.

More news stories like this one

Self-care in the trees for survivors of domestic & family violence

If you were to picture a group for survivors of domestic and family violence, you probably imagine a group of women sitting on chairs, sipping cups of tea, and nervously engaging in small talk. This couldn’t be further from reality for women attending our Treetops experience.

Read More

Inspiring inclusion this International Women’s Day

There are many ways, both virtual and in-person, to participate in IWD 2024. Remember, this year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion. Every time you speak about women’s rights and equal standing in your community, you are celebrating and participating!

Read More

Reconnecting isolated seniors with the outside world

When 99 year old Oi Mei first met Winnie, she finally had someone she could share stories in her native tongue. As a fellow Cantonese speaker, Winnie was able to appreciate and resonate with Oi Mei’s experiences in a special way.

Read More