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Mediation is a structured interactive procedure where a neutral intermediary or the mediator helps the involved parties resolve any conflict and reach a mutual settlement that is accepted by both parties. The settlement is then drafted into an enforceable agreement. 

Family mediation involves resolving issues on child support, parenting schedules, marriage, divorce, separation, division of property and finances, the succession of the family business or inherited property, and other related family disputes.

Some principal characteristics of Sydney mediation are:

  • It is a non-binding procedure controlled by the involved parties: Neither of the parties involved in mediation can be forced to accept a settlement statement or the concluding agreement against their wish. 
  • It is a confidential procedure: 
  • It is an interest-based procedure.

Once you have opted for mediation, you must prepare for it well to get maximum productivity and ensure that your purpose is fulfilled, as asking questions to yourself while preparing help get a better understanding.

What are Questions You Must Ask Yourself While Preparing for Family Mediation?

We are listing some questions down below that you should ask yourself during your preparation-
  1. What do you want? Make a list of it.
  2. What do you think the other person wants? Note them down accordingly.
  3. What, according to you, would make a realistic solution?
  4. What efforts can you make to help the other person achieve what they want?
  5. What are the things that you really can deliver?
  6. How can you gain back the trust of the other and prove to them that you're reliable after letting them down?
  7. If you were the person who was let down by the other, what are the things you need to see before you can trust the other person?
  8. How can you improve your communication?
  9. If you have offspring, what are their wishes and needs?
  10. How can you solve the disagreement without involving the children in the conflict?
  11. If you have older children, is the mediator entitled to speak to them and take their opinions?
  12. How do you manage your parenting schedules to improve their experience?
  13. What are the views of any involved third parties like your extended family, and how would your ideas impact them?
  14. While discussing financial settlement issues, can you be transparent about your means and disclose them frankly?
  15. Do you have a budget for Legal Aid in case the mediation process does not work out for both parties?
  16. What is the best and the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement?
  17. How realistic are you presently, and what is your real bottom line?
Once you have asked the questions, here is how you should move on with them :

Know about the process of mediation: The first and crucial step of preparation is to understand the process and what will happen. You can consult with your mediator in Melbourne mediation to better understand it. Also, some organizations provide knowledge about the process of mediation and how to prepare for it. 

Identify the issues: There can be a lot of problems in a conflict, but there are some specific issues that you can resolve through mediation. So, think about the matters you want to talk about in Sydney mediation. Make a note of all the problems in the order of your priority.

Know what you want: Once you have identified the issues, it will be easier to understand what you want from the mediation.

Know and understand your legal rights: If there are legal rights and responsibilities involved in your case or dispute, that is Family law mediation, you should consider getting legal advice to make a good decision about any agreement. A lawyer would also tell you about the laws applicable in your case of dispute and the judge's perspective in case it goes up to court. He would also tell you about the time and cost involved in the court proceedings.

Consider options for ending the dispute: Once you have understood and dealt with your issues. You should consider ways of resolving them and reaching a middle ground. Before considering the options, you must know about the wishes and wants of the other side during mediation sessions. Then you can work out common fields of interest. Also, consider the possibility of getting what you want if you approach the court.

Plan how to communicate: Consider how you should talk while deciding upon the settlement during mediation sessions. Avoid venting out your emotions by speaking angrily or criticizing the other party, as it results in a delay in reaching an agreement. 

Think if you have any other person whom you can take with you: Often, you are allowed to bring someone to your mediation sessions who would support you physically and emotionally.

Gather all the necessary documents: You must gather all the documents related to your case and the information that plays a crucial role in supporting your claim. You should be careful about revealing your evidence or information to the other party during the mediation session, as they can use them against you. 

Conclusion!

Disputes amongst family members or partners after separation or divorce can be emotionally exhausting and challenging. You would most likely feel angry, hurt, and anxious. But you must address them and get help from the mediator to deal with them. You must not let these emotions prevent you from thinking rationally and practically while discussing the agreement. Allowing emotions to take over does not bear positive results. 

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