This article shares the most common topics discussed during this family mediation procedure and outlines how a typical mediation session takes place. The information provided below applies to parents who go through a separation, but most of the sections also apply to couples with no common dependent children.
If you have never attended mediation before or are getting ready for your first session, you may wonder about the content covered there.
Here are the three most common topics:
These can include parental authority, such as making important decisions about the child’s health, education, religion, and more.
Also, you get to discuss the custody time and your access rights as a parent.
Finally, you can talk about ways to share the financial responsibility between the parents that relate to child support payments.
Property division is a critical issue to discuss following the breakdown of a marriage. The discussions include the family patrimony as well as patrimonial rights that you may have after the marriage.
Mediation also helps you come up with a solution to divide property that you acquired together while you were a couple or lived together.
Another common topic of discussion is financial support on behalf of one of the spouses for the other in instances of civil unions or marriage or in de facto unions where there was a cohabitation contract.
Mediation sessions are typically held with both parties present along with a mediator. Sometimes, if the parties agree, there can be two mediators called co-mediators.
There are times when other people are present in case the mediator thinks it’s necessary or if the parties make a request. The invited mediation attendees can’t act as dispute experts and can’t legally represent either of the parties.
There are different phases of a mediation process:
Once you make it to the mediation stage, the mediator will assess your family situation to examine whether the mediation is relevant. They will then make introductory remarks and provide an opening statement outlining each participant’s role. The mediator also sets the time frame and defines the protocol for everyone to be on the same page.
The mediator will give each party some time to express themselves and share their vision of the story.
Once the topics and issues get submitted for the session, the mediator helps identify and establish the needs of both parties and the child(ren). The mediator may ask open-ended questions to help them figure out their issues.
Then, the mediator goes over different solutions together with the parents. Most of the time, the mediator relies on the parties’ creativity but can also provide additional options if none are plausible.
The mediator will analyze all available options and create the basis for a report that takes into account everyone’s needs and options and provides a solution.
Once they reach an agreement, the mediator hands the parties a summary and a recommendation for further consultations. This can include contacting qualified professionals for independent advice (legal or not) or obtaining information about further steps in the process to draft proceedings for the court, and so on.
The mediation report sets out the topics addressed in the agreement like access rights, custody, property division, support payments, etc.
Mediation is a crucial step when it comes to making post-marriage financial, parental, and property decisions. With the help of a mediator, both parties can come up with a solution that addresses everyone’s individual needs and places the ground for a healthy post-marriage relationship.
Attending mediation is highly recommended whether or not you share children with your ex-spouse, and it should now be clear what to expect from your first session. To begin the mediation process at Legalhood with one of our accredited mediators, simply click here.