Exploring the benefits of mediation as an alternative to court

Family Mediation Week runs from 16-20th January 2023. This is a campaign run by the Family Mediation Council to raise awareness of family mediation and the benefits it can bring to separating families. 

Mediation has many advantages over going to court, including being faster, cheaper, and allowing the parties to remain in control and resolve important issues with dignity and respect. This article looks at these benefits and how mediation might work for you and your family.

What is family mediation? 

Family mediation is a process in which an impartial third-party mediator helps separating couples resolve disputes and make lasting arrangements for the future of them and their family, without going to court.

Benefits of family mediation to resolve disputes

Overall, using family mediation to resolve issues has several advantages over going to court, and is well worth considering. 

A faster resolution

One of the biggest benefits of mediation is that it allows for a faster resolution than the traditional court process. This is because mediation is a voluntary process, with no set court timetable or deadlines to adhere to. This means that the parties involved can work at their own pace and resolve their dispute as quickly or as slowly as they need. This flexibility is especially useful if the parties involved cannot meet at the same time or place, as mediation can usually take place over the phone or online.

Costs

Another advantage of mediation is that it is much cheaper than going to court. This is partly because no court fees need to be paid, and there are no legal expenses to be incurred. Mediation can also be a much quicker process than going to trial, which means the costs associated with the process are lower. In addition, mediation can take place anywhere convenient for the parties involved, meaning that travel costs are also reduced.

More control

The parties involved in mediation also have much more control over the process than they would in a courtroom. This means they can tailor the process to suit their needs rather than adhere to court rules or procedures. For instance, the parties can decide to have their mediator present for the duration of the process or to have both parties present for the entire process. This is not possible in a court process, where the judge makes all decisions.

Preserve relationships 

Finally, and potentially the most important in family mediation is that it has the added benefit of preserving relationships between the parties involved. This is because it is a non-adversarial process, allowing the parties to come together to find a solution that works for both. This is not possible in a courtroom, where the parties are usually pitted against each other, and the judge usually determines the outcome