Have you ever wondered why the Court requires you to mediate before you start court proceedings? Or if you are in the middle of court proceedings have you ever wondered why you are given time to try and reach an agreement or ordered back to mediation? There are many answers in response to these questions but here are my top 5 reasons that will help you when it comes to your next mediation:
Number 1 – You can still have a relationship (of sorts) after a mediation.
First off, I know you are in the position you are because your relationship has ended; but when you have kids together, you still need to have a co parenting relationship going forward. Mediation is the best way to lay the groundwork for this relationship. I have never seen a couple walk out of a court room better friends than when they entered but I can say that I have seen couples walk out of mediation better for it. Why? Simply put you get to talk. You can air issues that needed to be aired and you can do so in a respectful manner where you have control over the dialogue. When you are in a court room, you may have a lawyer standing up and doing the talking. In a trial setting that same lawyer will be asking your ex all sorts of questions with the one aim of trying to convince the Judge why the orders you are seeking are in the children's best interests. Normally this is going to be achieved by highlighting the deficiences of your ex and their proposal. Often this is done by asking questions and making comments that will leave your ex realing with anger. Anger that will be remembered for many years. Yes you may not have been the one to say the words but I can assure you that you will be blamed.
Number 2 – You have a say.
This is a HUGE benefit and should not be underestimated. I know some of you would find it so much easier to leave the decision making up to a Judge but let me remind you of some hard truths here:
- They do not know you or your family.
- They do not know what is important to you or your family.
- They do not understand what it means to your child if they can’t participate in an activity or go to an event.
- They do not understand the flexibility that you may need with your work.
I could go on and on here but I am sure you get the point. No one knows your family better than the pair of you so why would you want someone else to make a decision. In a mediation you both are the decision makers. Neither of you will get what you want (there will be compromise) but newsflash you may not get what you want from a Judge either.
Number 3 – It costs you so much less.
Not only in $$$$ but emotionally as well.
You may be put off by the initial lump sum investment you need to make with a mediator but in the long run – paying mediation fees is like going to a 5-star resort and paying caravan park prices. It isn’t even a drop in the ocean if you end up at a trial – and that is only in $$$$ terms.
Emotionally, mediation can provide a forum to air and discuss issues and like I said before, you get to control the dialogue .
Number 4 –Time.
It is crazy to think that for some people getting to a trial can take years and I mean years (emphasis on the plural here). Mediation is quick. You can usually book and be in with a mediator in a very short turn around and if you don’t get everything sorted then and there then you can go back.
Number 5 – Communication.
This is one of the hidden advantages to mediation. The art of communication. Have you ever noticed that when someone paraphrases and repeats back what they have just heard you can feel:
- Like a complete idiot for making a mountain out of a mole hill; or
- That the way they have said that is so much better than the way you explained it?
Either way, these are all the little nuggets that you will get from going to mediation. When you leave the mediation room, hopefully you will leave thinking about what was said, what was discussed and you will remember the way the mediator phrased that concern. Or how, really the issue you thought was the deal breaker really isn’t in the scheme of things.
There you have it my top 5 benefits of mediation. There are many more but for me these are the most significant.
If you would like to find out if mediation is right for you, you can contact me here.