Family mediation services are a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that helps families resolve their own conflicts. A trained mediator facilitates discussion and provides helpful guidance about various issues affecting a family, including parental rights and responsibilities, child custody, time-sharing, spousal support, property division, and other financial concerns. Parents can use this type of mediation even after they have been separated to make adjustments to existing arrangements or work through issues that arise during separation.
A family mediator will listen to all sides of the conflict to ensure that each person feels heard. They will then help the parties discuss different options for moving forward in a way that makes sense to them. The mediator may also teach the family interpersonal communication skills that will be useful in resolving future disagreements.
It is important to note that the process of family mediation is not always successful. If the parents are unable to agree on all aspects of their case, then it is likely that they will need to take their case to trial. However, if they are able to settle on some matters, then the process will be faster and less stressful for everyone involved.
In some cases, it is helpful to have a lawyer present during the mediation sessions to assist the parties and provide legal advice. This is especially true if the family has legal or financial concerns that are complex. For example, in some situations it is helpful for a lawyer to explain how the court would interpret and apply any agreement reached by the parties in their divorce judgment or settlement agreement.