FAMILY MEDIATIONA constructive and conciliatory approach to the resolution of matrimonial disputes
Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating a divorce settlement. In family mediation, you and your spouse — or, in some cases, the two of you and your respective lawyers — hire a neutral third party (a mediator) to serve as a facilitator between you and your spouse, and aid in the resolution of all matters pertaining to the divorce.
Mediation can work for almost all couples and has a long list of benefits:
- Less expensive than a court trial or a series of hearings.
- Usually ends in a settlement of all of the issues in your divorce.
- Confidential, with no public record of your mediation sessions.
- Resolution can be achieved with more flexible rules compared to the strict legal principles of the Court as you and your spouse can control the process.
- Availability of a lawyer to provide legal advice.
- Less acrimonious than the court process and may help improve communication between you and your spouse in order to avoid future conflicts.
Do I have to attend mediation?
During divorce proceedings, all families with children below 21 years of age are required to attend mandatory counselling at the Child Focused Resolution Centre. Thereafter a mediation session will be fixed with the FJC. The mediation process is usually beneficial to both parties in relation to ancillary issues and parties are strongly encouraged to attend. The court may also order parties to attend mediation under certain circumstances.
As of October 2016, parties with divorce cases that meet the following criteria will be ordered by the Family Justice Courts (FJC) to attend mediation conducted by private mediation providers such as the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC):
1. There are no contested child issues; and
2. There is a contested issue relating to assets where the gross value of all known assets is S$3 million or above.
Family (Matrimonial) Mediation Scheme
Litigation of matrimonial matters can be expensive, protracted and exact a significant emotional toll on the parties involved.
In Singapore, the Singapore Mediation Centre or SMC has a range of family services aimed at resolving the issues of a marriage without further damaging relationships.
SMC has developed the Family (Matrimonial) Mediation Scheme to help parties involved in matrimonial cases resolve matrimonial disputes amicably, and in a faster and cheaper manner. Mediation can assist couples who are going through divorce or separation resolve complicated issues in the dispute. Such issues may include custody of children, spousal maintenance, division of family assets and other financial matters arising from the breakdown of the relationship.
The aim of the Family (Matrimonial) Mediation Scheme is to:
- Encourage a constructive and conciliatory approach to the resolution of matrimonial disputes;
- Resolve matrimonial disputes in an effective and timely way;
- Help maintain long-term family relationships and reduce emotional turmoil for parties; and
- Ensure that costs are kept affordable for parties.
Mediating your marital matters gives you a high chance of settlement, control over the outcome, cost and time savings, and prevents further damage to your relationships.
Collaborative Family Practice
Collaborative Family Practice (“CFP”) is a process of dispute resolution whereby parties contemplating a divorce may be assisted by their respective lawyers to achieve a peaceful settlement without going through the painful litigation process.
Under the CFP framework, parties attend mediation sessions in private with their respective lawyers (who are accredited by the Singapore Mediation Centre in collaboration with the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals), who will assist parties in resolving any outstanding conflicts in relation to their divorce, such as child custody, division of assets and maintenance issues.
One unique characteristic of the CFP framework is that parties’ lawyers are not allowed to represent their respective clients in the case where a settlement cannot be reached through CFP. As such, this creates a friendly and non-contentious environment where parties can freely negotiate for a settlement without the emotional and financial stresses of a lawsuit.
Hoh Law Corporation has a team of experienced family law staff ready to handle your CFP process and resolve your matrimonial issues quickly and amicably. Please contact us to find out more about the various dispute resolution options available to you.
How Will Hoh Law Corporation Help During The Mediation Process?
Negotiating agreements is not an easy process. We will help you :
- Stay on track and fully protect your interests
- Encourage both parties to express opinions and positions
- Provide an objective and fair perspective from an outsider’s point of view
- Communicate the pitfalls or benefits of the decisions taken during this process
The two most important things you can do to make your mediation successful are:
- listen and try to understand your spouse’s point of view, and
- be open to compromise
Understanding your spouse’s position does not mean you have to agree with it. It just means that you are serious about solving the problem. We will then help move the process along through the drafting of formal agreements and other paperwork.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Hoh Law Corporation is one of Singapore’s most successful community law firms.
As Singapore’s largest community law firm, HOH Law Corporation brings legal services to the masses and the ordinary man on the street. With island-wide offices and a team of committed legal professionals, our mission is to deliver affordable and quality legal services by dedicating our legal experiences and extensive resources to achieving the best outcome for every client.