What are the Different Types of Family Mediation Services?

Patrick Roland

Family mediation services are frequently needed to solve a variety of intra-family issues without involving a court of law. Divorce-related matters are among the most common types of services rendered ranging from parenting responsibilities, property settlements, and support agreements. Making sure that the best interests of the children are served plays a large role in the different types of mediation services. Mediation can also play a role in prenuptial agreements.

Family mediation services can prevent some divorcing partners from going to family court.
Family mediation services can prevent some divorcing partners from going to family court.

Helping sort out the complex details of a divorce or separation are the most common types of family mediation services. These services are important in family law because they establish parental rights and responsibilities. Examples of this type of service are establishing in a document who is responsible for the health and well-being of a child including paying hospital bills for example. This type of service is common for parents that are not cohabitating or sharing incomes.

Property disputes between divorced couples are commonly solved by family mediation services. If no written agreement was created prior to a marriage, shared property can become difficult to divide between a couple. This type of family arbitration lists all pieces of property and investments and finds a way to distribute the items fairly. Because property and individuals differ greatly, methods for dividing goods are unique for each case.

Financial support of a spouse is another realm where mediation is utilized. These types of family mediation services look at a spouse's dependence on the other spouse's income. Based on a spouse's ability to provide for him- or herself, a divorced spouse can be ordered to make alimony or spousal support payments to help the other with home, food, and living expenses.

When separated or divorced parents get into a dispute over how the children will be raised or supervised, these differences can sometimes be resolved through family mediation services. Demanding a change of custody, increasing the time spent with a non-custodial parent, or asking a mediator to arrange a new schedule, are examples of this type of service. On the flip side, adult children cans sometimes settle disputes about elder care and inherited property through family mediation.

Setting forth the expectations and rights prior to a marriage is frequently known as a prenuptial agreement. This is a written agreement signed prior to exchanging marriage vows that entitles each partner to specific property and financial expectations in the event of a divorce or separation. Family mediation might assist in identifying issues to be nailed down in a prenuptial agreement to avoid disputes if or when a marriage dissolves.

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