Mediation is a process which assists people in negotiating their decisions with the help of a third party. Family mediation is used in situations of family breakdown to help those involved to communicate better and reach decisions around some of the issues arising from separation and divorce, e.g., children, property and finance.
Those entering family mediation do so voluntarily and find that not only is it a cost-effective way of resolving disputes and conflicts but it also imparts skills that can minimize risks of escalating conflicts in the future. Family mediation may prevent the need to engage in lengthy and costly legal proceedings. Once people enter mediation they will be encouraged to talk openly and to exchange information, ideas and feelings in a constructive manner. The family mediator is impartial and will not give advice about what they think the best option is for either party. The process supports each party in reaching informed decisions that are best for all concerned.
Family mediation may not be appropriate in situations where there has been, or there is a current risk of, family violence/abuse. An initial assessment is carried out with each party to ascertain whether family mediation is the best option.