Typically when many think of mediation in Minnesota, they think of mediation in terms of divorce. However, while divorce is one of the most common disputes that can occur in a family, it is not the only family dispute. While Family Dispute Resolution is a form of mediation, it is a form of mediation that treats more than just divorce topics. In many family law cases, the courts will advise that those involved undergo at least some form of mediation before continuing to court, and Family Dispute Resolution can fit the bill.
What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Like many forms of mediation, Family Dispute Resolution involves both sides meeting with a mediator. This can be done with both sides in one room or the mediator can move between two rooms in particularly contentious situations. Once the process has begun, the mediator is first there to listen to both sides as they describe their issue without interruption. Once both parties have shared their issues, the mediator will then begin to craft a resolution to the conflict that hopefully both can agree to.
Types of conflicts that can be addressed through this mediation meeting include:
- Divorce or separation issues
- Couples in peril that want to work out their issues
- Parenting issues
- Grandparent rights or care
- Inheritance issues
- Conflicts between extended family
- Family business issues
- Estranged family issues
In a Family Dispute Resolution meeting for any of the above, it is crucial that both sides are willing to listen and acknowledge the issues in order for it to succeed. However, like many mediation meetings, there is a chance that no conclusion can be reached as well.
Benefits of a Family Dispute Resolution Meeting
Mediation will always have a few distinct benefits that will always be beneficial for families. For those who choose to undergo Family Dispute Resolution in Minnesota, they can expect to enjoy some of the following if successful:
- Faster and cheaper than arguing out your issues in a courtroom.
- Often repairs the lines of communication between couples allowing them to better express their feelings and issues with an arrangement.
- Sets up a structure in which other disputes that may arise in a family can be solved without seeking official mediation again.
- There are no decisions that are legally imposed on a situation like in a courtroom. Decisions are not permanent, but they are more flexible. However, most people are less likely to breach an agreement that they reached themselves.
- As it is a meeting between family and a mediator, the atmosphere is more relaxed and infinitely less stressful.
What Happens if Mediation Fails?
If you cannot come to a conclusive decision on the issue at hand, then the mediation has failed. In these cases, you will be able to take your issue to court in order to get a ruling by the judge. However, if you can come to an agreement on many issues, you can go to court for that sole issue that remains if necessary. Unfortunately, the agreements made in Family Dispute Resolution are not legally binding. This means if one party walks out of mediation and decides they don’t want to adhere to what was agreed upon, it is well within their rights to do so. However, this will mean that the issue will likely need to go to court.
If you are having a family issue, whether it is a divorce or a disagreement in elderly care in the Minneapolis area, contact us today. While we can help represent your rights in the courtroom, we can also help connect you with mediators that can help you come to a solution outside of the courtroom.