MEDIATION & DIVORCE MEDIATION EXPLAINED
Mediation is a dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of specialized communication and negotiation techniques. It is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily on the needs, rights and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative in that he manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms (reality-testing), while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties.
Divorce Mediation is a non-adversarial, facilitative and cooperative decision-making process, where a qualified and impartial third party help couples resolve disputes in their marriage, especially those relating to divorce or separation. Once the parties, with the help of their mediator, identify the issues, they then try to resolve those disputes between themselves. The mediator does not make decisions for them but attempts to get them to make decisions on their own.
Divorce mediation is a voluntary settlement process used frequently and successfully by married couples who want to divorce, and by domestic partners who want to separate. Divorce mediation gives couples the option to plan their futures rationally, and in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect. To a large and reasonable extent, divorce mediation places the future of the parties in their hands, rather than leaving it up to a Judge to decide what happens to them, the children and the assets. No one is as familiar with the situation of the conflicting parties as the parties themselves.
Divorce mediation, as an approach to getting a non-adversarial divorce, has experienced growth in some jurisdictions such as the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and Hong Kong. As a result of its growth, various national mediation groups have been established in some of these jurisdictions. For instance, in Hong Kong, Mediation Group was set up in January 1995 under the auspices of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), which was established to assist people resolve disputes by arbitration and mediation. A subsidiary group of Mediation Group, Family Mediation Interest Group, was soon established with the goal of furthering family mediation in Hong Kong.
Also, the Hong Kong Legal Aid Ordinance has been amended to include mediation. Section 6.602 of Texas Family Code 2005, equally allows divorce mediation in Texas. In Nigeria however, Divorce Mediation has not been fully embraced. What readily looks like divorce mediation in Nigeria is reconciliation as provided under Section 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act. The Section provides: