3 Common Mediation Myths
Family law mediation is a sometimes-complicated process and therefore there are lots of myths and misconceptions about it. Lots of people simply have no idea what the true nature of mediation is, and therefore might not pursue it when it could enable them to find a mutually agreeable resolution with their ex and end the dispute once and for all.
It is important that everyone understands the truth about mediation and what it entails so that they can make an informed choice about whether it is right for them. The following will look at 3 common mediation myths and set the record straight.
Myth 1: Our family lawyers can mediate/we don’t need a mediator
Due to the fact that most lawyers have a natural gift for negotiation and dispute resolution, you and your ex may think that a dedicated mediator is an unnecessary expense. After all, why fork out extra for mediation when you can just let your lawyers work it all out?
This kind of thinking discounts the unique expertise that a dedicated mediator can bring to the negotiating table. A mediator is a neutral professional who has no stake in the dispute – they take a purely analytical approach and guide parties towards a resolution.
Having a professional mediator supervise the negotiation with your ex also means that they are less likely to be able to manipulate or use emotional leverage against you. The mediation environment is always in a neutral setting where each side can speak as equals.
Most notably, dedicated mediators are able to identify, or help you to brainstorm, out-of-the-box solutions to the dispute that would not be litigated in court. Since mediation is a private negotiation that occurs out-of-court, you are not limited to the framework used by family court judges to determine arrangements for the division of assets/future custody of children.
Myth 2: Mediation is useless unless a ‘complete’ settlement is reached
Sometimes people will dismiss mediation as a dispute resolution tool they can’t use simply because they assume their dispute is too complex or acrimonious to be solved this way. A lot of the time people think mediation is a waste of time and money they could be spending on preparing their case for trial.
While some disputes can’t be fully solved with mediation, these are rare. Most of the time parties (and their lawyers) are surprised by how quickly a seemingly impossible dispute was solved.
Even if the whole case can’t be resolved then and there, mediation can still achieve partial settlements and put certain issues to bed. In this way, mediation can help refocus the dispute, giving you a partial resolution that’s better than none at all.
Myth 3: Mediators favour the same sex
This is another unfortunate myth that prevents some people from seeking resolution via family law mediation. Men will often incorrectly assume that a female mediator will subtly help their ex-wife, and vice versa.
There is simply no factual basis for this superstition. The mediator is always an entirely neutral third party who ‘has no skin in the game’ and is just there to do a job.
Those are 3 myths about family law mediation that we’ve just busted. If you think that you could benefit from family law mediation, get in touch with the team at O’Sullivan Mediation today!