What is Family Mediation?
Family Mediation is a problem-solving process designed to help separating / divorcing couples reach their own mutually acceptable agreements regarding the ongoing arrangements for their children and/or the resolution of financial matters. It is a process in which a trained, impartial third person, the mediator, can assist both parties to communicate and negotiate issues in dispute in a confidential setting.
How Does Mediation Work?
After each party has had an initial individual interview, the couple meets together with one or two mediators for several sessions. All sessions are confidential and not legally binding.
The mediator will help the couple to identify and clarify their needs, concerns and issues. The mediator will also help couples expand their options in order to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement.
Each party is recommended to seek independent legal and/or financial advice throughout the mediation process. At the conclusion of mediation, a written agreement is prepared setting out all decisions and agreements made by the couple.
Mediators do not make decisions for couples, nor do they provide legal or counselling services.
Why Use Mediation?
- Cost efficient - If parties can resolve their dispute through mediation, they will save the substantial legal fees involved in litigation.
- Time efficient - Mediation can be organised and conducted promptly with some flexibility compared with the constraints of the court system. This allows the parties and their families to settle disputes in a timely manner.
- Maintains decision-making authority - parties can make important decisions affecting their family's future.
- Appropriate solutions – Agreements are made on a case-by-case basis to meet the needs of the parties.
- Cooperation and avoidance of emotional diversion - Mediation improves communication and gives the parties more effective ways of resolving future differences.
When to Choose Mediation?
Mediation can be helpful before or after a couple separates and before or after commencement of any legal proceedings. A preliminary interview with the mediator will help to assess whether mediation is a suitable course of action.
Who are the Mediators?
Family mediators come from a variety of backgrounds including law, counselling, social work, psychology and psychiatry. Family mediators registered with the HKIAC have undertaken professional training and have been approved to be on the HKIAC panel of accredited mediators. Such family mediators are required to adhere to the Centre's Code of Practice for Family Mediators.
If you think mediation can benefit your situation, or wish to refer a party to mediation, please contact HKIAC at (852) 2525 2381 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For a list of accredited family mediators, please visit here.