Mediation to resolve parenting disputes

Mediation is used to resolve a conflict between people and this article is specifically aimed at resolving parenting disputes through mediation which concerns the care of children of separated or divorced parents.

Mediation is a perfect way of finding a neutral ground to resolve parenting disputes. However, in order to get to that neutral ground, always start first to consider what the issues are and then what the desired outcomes are.

It may be difficult to remain neutral on the matter of issues and sometimes not appropriate to remain neutral.   The mediator has to be prepared to be faced with a number of very unpleasant conflict situations namely domestic violence, conflict, drug/alcohol abuse that are known to be harmful. So often a person can be put at risk of harm over the other and at times, even at the hand of the other. Neutrality in the face of these situations may be complex or tacit acceptance. This really isn’t neutral or safe.

The mediator has a very important role to play in the mediation process and has a number of issues to be addressed because not addressing them would be tantamount to complicity and/or tacit acceptance. This could result in people being at risk of harm. This is far from neutral, as it inadvertently reinforces dysfunctional/unlawful/dangerous behaviour. These issues impose distress and parents should be aware of the natural contribution thereof when trying to promote wellness (social, emotional, physical and even spiritual) and they should offer guidance to address those issues that otherwise drive conflict.

People can and should still decide for themselves – good or bad. In the end, it is their life – assuming the behaviour in question is not a required reportable offence. The mediator should respect self-determination and remain neutral with regard to the outcome.

According to Direnfeld mediation is more than compromise and have loftier general goals.

To achieve more durable, lasting agreements, Direnfeld says, intermediaries aim at getting the parties to learn to resolve disputes respectfully through the process of mediation, as well as address those conditions within themselves that may contribute to ongoing harm and/or conflict.  This becomes a win-win situation as both the parents themselves are part of the solution.

Remaining neutral in the area of family mediation and specifically where children’s lives hang in the balance, neutrality can be a daunting task. Family mediators have the well-being of the children as their top priority, especially where conflict becomes such a huge distraction to the parents that they do not become aware of their children’s needs. The outcome of the mediation process still remains a parental prerogative.

JA Attorneys legal team specialises in mediation to resolve parenting disputes and have found it extremely successful in dealing and resolving child custody matters/disputes as these often go hand in hand. Contact us today with your urgent matter.