Why do I need to do mediation or family dispute resolution?

 In divorce, FDRP, Mediation, Separation


“Why do I need to do mediation?” – this question is asked a lot and I wish the answer were simple but in my view it isn’t.

Why?  Because for me it depends on what is going on, where you are at, how you communicate and what you have tried before.

You see, mediation (or family dispute resolution as it is known in the family law space) is a tool that can be very effective in helping people to resolve ongoing issues by creating a level of understanding or acknowledgement.  It can be used in a variety of situations (you don’t have to be going through a separation or divorce to do it either) and it can be done in a variety of ways.  There are various mediation models out there and different mediators will each do it differently. It is important that you identify what type of mediator is good for you. Do you want someone who focuses on getting an agreement? Or do you want someone who helps you both to understand where the other person is coming from, so that you can realise what the underlying issue is and then working on solving that?  At the end of the day, the majority of us mediate every day; we just don’t realise it at the time.

However, if you have the type of relationship where you can talk, where you can create a level of understanding then perhaps you don’t need mediation.  The question that you need to ask here is  – does the other party feel the same way?  You may think you can talk and listen but does the other party think the same of your relationship?  If they do then great – you should definitely try to do this yourself.  If you don’t then that is where mediation would be a great option for you. 

Then there are those who for safety reasons cannot talk to each other.  In these scenarios there may be a party who feels intimidated, scared or threatened by the other person’s presence (whether that be physically or emotionally).  In these scenarios if you want to try mediation it is essential that you find the right mediator.  Some mediators may not feel comfortable or they may feel that it is inappropriate to mediate.  Others will be very adept at controlling the power and levelling the playing field.  This will depend on a variety of factors including what the issues are, the history of your relationship and what orders (if any) are currently in place.

Ultimately, mediation should be seen as a tool to help give you both the ability to reach an agreement that is going to work for you both moving forward.  Sometimes you may need a professional mediator to help you with this not only to keep the conversations on track but to also make sure you both don’t end up on the hamster wheel, going over and over the same issues but getting nowhere in the end.

If you would like to find out more information regarding mediation you can contact us on 1300 433 302 or schedule a time to have a free chat with us here.

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