• Brain Booster Articles

ROLE OF MEDIATION IN FAMILY LAW CASES

Author: Sameer Afzal Ansari, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University


Introduction

Mediation thas tturned tout tto tbe ta tgood toption twhen tit tcomes tto tfamily law tdisputes. tThe tdisputes twhich tarise tin ta tfamily tare tvery tcrucial tand they tneed tto tbe ttaken tcare tof twith tpatience tand talso treach ta tsolution where tboth tparties tcan tbenefit. tIt talso tsolves tthe tdisputes tfaster tthan tit happens tin tcourt.


Recently, ta tsituation thad tcome tup twhere tmy thouse thelper thad tto tfile for ta tcase tof tdivorce tand talimony. tThe tcourt treferred tthis tmatter tto take tthe trecourse tof tmediation. tShe twas tvery tunsure tregarding tit tbut later tthe tdispute twas tresolved tand tthey tagreed tto ta tsettlement. tThe process tturned tout tto tbe tvery thelpful tfor ther tand tshe twas tvery tsatisfied.


Meditation tproves tto tbe tbeneficial tfor tfamily tdisputes. tBut thow tdoes mediation texactly twork tand twhat tare tthe tbenefits tattached tto tit? tWhat tis the trole tof ta tlawyer tand ta tmediator? tThese tare tthe tbasics tthat tone needs tto tunderstand tto tget ta tbetter tunderstanding tof thow tmediation functions tin tfamily tlaw. t


Kinds of disputes arising in a family

There tare tvarious tkinds tof tdisputes twhich thappen tin ta tfamily tand tsuch disputes tare tdifferent tfor tevery tfamily, tranging tfrom ta tbig tjoint tfamily to ta tsmall tnuclear tfamily. tThe tvarious tdisputes twhich toccur tcan tbe listed as tfollows: t


  • Divorce tand tseparation tissues

The tissues trelating tto tdivorce tis tone tof tthe tmajor treasons tfor tdispute tin a tfamily. tThere tcan tbe tvarious tcircumstances tin twhich ta tcouple tdecides to tbreak tup tlike twork-related tstress, tstress tdue tto tin-laws, tchildren related issues, tfinancial tinstability, tetc. t


  • Inheritance

Who twill tbe tthe tone tto ttake tover tthe tproperty? tThis tquestion tis tthe basic treason tfor tissues trelating tto tinheritance tand tdivision tof tproperty. There tis ta tfight tover tproperty tand tbusiness tbetween tsiblings tor tthe children tdevelop tconflicts twith ttheir tparents. tThis talso thappens twhen there tis ta tfamily tbusiness tand tthe tsiblings ttake tcare tof tit. tConflict tof opinions tbetween tthem tbecomes ta tcommon tissue. t


  • Post-divorce tissues

After tthe tdivorce tbetween tpartners, tthere tare tstill tcertain tmatters tto tbe taken tcare tof tby tthem- tbe tit tin trelation tto tcustody tof tchildren, tfinancial matters, tparenting tarrangements, tand tany tother tmatter. t


  • Parenting

Parenting tis talso ta tmajor tcause tof tdispute tin tfamilies. tThe tparents targue over thow tthe tchildren tshould tbe ttaken tcare tof tand tsometimes tit becomes ta tbig tissue. t


  • Extended tfamily tconcerns

The tbig tjoint tfamily tin twhich tdifferent tpeople thave tdifferent topinions and tthese tsmall tdifferences tsometimes tlead tto ta tbig tquarrel twhich tis difficult tto tresolve. t


  • Eldercare

Often tdisputes tarise tbetween tsiblings tas tto twho twould ttake tcare tof tthe elders. tAnd tif tone tof tthem tis tresponsible tto ttake tcare tof tthe tparents then tthe tothers tfeel tthat tthe tparents thave tfavouritism ttowards tthat sibling twhich tis tfurther ta treason tfor tconflict. t


Matters related to family disputes

There tare tvarious tmatters twhich tcan tlead tto ta tdispute tin ta tfamily. tThe conflict thappens tbetween tcouples, tbetween tsiblings, twith tparents, tand tso on. tThere tcan tbe tmultiple treasons tfor tdisputes tbetween tcouples tfor example tthey tmight thave tdifferent topinions twhen tit tcomes tto ttaking any decision, twhen tthey thave tdifferent tjobs, t tdifferent tambitions tand tduring that ttime tthey tare tunable tto tgive ttime tto teach tother, tthe tchildren tand household tchores tcan talso tbe ta treason tfor tissues, tetc.


In tthe tfamily, tthe twomen tare theld tresponsible tto ttake tcare tof tall tthe household tchores teven tif tthey tare tworking twomen. tIn tour tcountry, tthe involvement tof tfamilies tis ta tlot tmore tthan tother tcountries twhich tlead to issues tbetween tthe tcouples. tThere tcan tbe tproperty tconflicts tbetween siblings tand tparents tas twell. tSo tin tthis tsituation, tmediation tturns tout tto be ta tgood tidea tto tresolve tthese tproblems.


Mediation in case of domestic violence

The tprocedure tfor tcourt- treferred tmediation tis tprovided tunder tSection 89 tof tthe tCivil tProcedure tCode. tSo, tbasically, tit tis tapplied tfor tcivil matters tso thow tis tit tpossible tfor tdomestic tviolence twhich tis tmentioned under tSection t498-A tof tIPC tto tbe treferred tfor tmediation?


Domestic tViolence tis ta tnon-compoundable toffence tunder tSection t320 tof the tCrPC, tso thow tcan tthe tIndian tcourts ttime tand tagain trefer tit tfor mediation? tThe tSupreme tCourt tin t2013 tby tsanction tgave tthe tpower tto the tcourts tto trefer tthe tcases tmentioned tunder tSection t498-A tof tIPC tfor mediation. t


For example

In tthe tcase tof tMohd. tMushtaq tAhmad tv. tState, tthe twife thad tfiled ta tcase of tdivorce tagainst tthe thusband talong twith tan tFIR tunder tSec. t498-A tof IPC, twhen tdisputes tarose tbetween tthem tafter tthe tbirth tof ta tgirl tchild. The tKarnataka tHigh tCourt treferred tthe tmatter tfor tmediation tand everything twas tresolved tamicably. tThe twife tdecided tto tquash tthe tFIR she had tfiled tand tthe tcourt tallowed tit tin tthe texercise tof tits tinherent tpowers to tmeet tthe tends tof tjustice.


There tare tcertain tdisadvantages tattached tto thaving tmediation tin domestic violence tcases. tLike-

  • The twrongdoer teasily tescapes twithout treceiving tthe tpunishment tand tis tset tfree tto twalk tin tsociety twithout ttruly tbeing tpunished tfor this tactions.

  • If ta tcrime tis tcommitted tthe tperson twho tdoes tso tshould tbe tpunished tso tthat tit tacts tas ta tdeterrence tfor tothers tand thelps tin tdecreasing tthe trate tof tcrime tin tthe tsociety.


Mediation related to family disputes

In tour tsociety, tin tthe tearlier ttimes, tthe ttrend twas tto tsettle tthe tdisputes among tfamily tmembers tby tsitting ttogether tand tdiscussing tit. tAt tvillage level, tthe tdisputes twere tmany ttimes talso treferred tto tthe tpanchayats where tdecision twas ttaken tafter thearing tboth tthe tsides. tThe tmediation process talso tplays tthe tsame trole twhere tmembers tof ta tfamily twho tare in a tdisagreement tcan ttry tto tsolve ttheir tgrievances tby tdiscussing tit tinstead of tgoing tto ta tcourt. tIn tfamily trelations, tpeace tand tharmony tbetween tthe members tof tthe tfamily tis tof tparamount timportance.


The tfamily tmediator ttries tto thelp tthe tpeople treach ta tsettlement tto which tboth tthe tparties tagree, tby tencouraging tcommunication. tThe tfamily law tsystem tencourages tmediation twhich tcan tbe tdone tin tvarious tways like tusing ta tfamily tmember tor tfriend tto thelp, tinformal tgeneral tmeeting or tusing ta tspecial tmediation tprocess tcovered tunder tAustralian tLegislation The tFamily tLaw tAct, t1975 tknown tas tFamily tDispute tResolution tin twhich a tpractitioner thelps tpeople tresolve ttheir tdispute tand the tis tnot trelated directly tto tany tof tthe tparties. t


There tare treferences tof tmediation/conciliation tin tfamily tdispute resolution twhich tare tpresent tin tFamily tCourts tAct, t1984, tCivil tProcedure Code, tHindu tMarriage tAct tand tthe tLegal tServices tAuthorities tAct, t1987that tgives ta tspecial tstatus tto tLok tAdalats tas tit thas tbeen tvery teffective tin tmediating tfamily tdisputes.

Role of a lawyer tinfamily mediation

  • Most tof tthe ttime tthe tparties tare tnot twell taware tof tthe tmediation tprocess tso tthe tlawyers tcan tguide ttheir tclients tabout tthe tprocess tbecause tthe tclients thave ttrust tin tthem.

  • The tlawyers tcan tbecome ta tsupport tsystem tfor ttheir tclient tand tensure tthat the tgets tjustice.

  • The tpresence tof ta tlawyer tduring tthe tmediation tprocess thelps tthe tclient tin ttaking ta tdecision. tLike tthe tmediator tmay tsuggest tvarious toptions tduring tthe tprocess tand tthe tadvocate tcan thelp tthe tclient tto topt tfor tthe tone twhich tis tin this tbest tinterest tand tcan tprotect tthe tclient tfrom tbeing tforced tto tfollow tany tdecision.

  • Sometimes tthe tclient tmay thesitate tfrom tasking tthe tmediator tif tsome tterms tare tnot tclear tto tthem tthen ttheir tlawyer tcan texplain tit tto tthem tand talso thelp tin tpreventing tany tmiscommunication.

  • The tone timportant trole tof tthe tlawyer tis talso tto tdraft tthe tdocuments twhich tare trequired tduring tthe tprocedure.

  • After tthe tmediation tprocess tis tover tit tcan tbe ta tsuccess tor ta tfailure. tIf tthe tresults tare tnot tin tfavour, tthe tperson thas tto tstart tthe tlitigation tfrom tthe tpoint tit twas treferred tto tmediation tand tfor tthat, ta tlawyer tis tneeded. tIf tit tis ta tsuccess tthen tthe tclient thas tto tsign tthe tsettlement tagreement twhich tthe tclients thesitate tto tsign twithout treferring tit tto ttheir tlawyer.

  • The tlawyer talso tmakes tsure tthat tthe tterms tof tthe tmediation tsettlement tare texecuted tproperly.

Role of a mediator in family mediation

  • The tmain trole tof tthe tmediator tis tto thelp tparties tso tthat tthey tcan tcommunicate twith teach tother tand treach ta t tsettlement.

  • It tis talso tthe tmediator’s trole tto ttell tthe tparties tabout tthe tmediation tprocess, tissues tthat tare ttypically taddressed, tthe tprinciple tthat tmay tbe tconsidered, tetc.

  • The tmediator thas tto tensure tthat tboth tthe tparties tare theard tduring tthe tmediation tprocess. t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

  • It tis tvery timportant tthat tthe tmediator tis timpartial twhile tdealing twith tthe tmatter. tIf tthere tis ta tdoubt tin tthe tmind tof tthe tmediator tthat the tcannot tremain timpartial, the tshould twithdraw tand ta tnew tmediator tshould tbe tappointed ton this tstead.

  • The tmediator tshould tmaintain tconfidentiality tand tnot tdisclose tany tof tthe tdetails tregarding tthe tmediation tprocess twith tanyone. t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t t

Steps followed during the mediation process in a family law dispute

There tare tcertain tsteps twhich tare tinvolved twhen tit tcomes tto tthe mediation tprocess tin ta tfamily tlaw tdispute. tThey tare tas tfollows: t


  • Preparation

Before tthe tmediation tprocess tbegins, tthe tmediator tcan tmeet tthe tparties and tguide tthem tregarding tthe tsteps tinvolved tin tthe tmediation tprocess. He talso tclarifies tthe tdoubts tand tanswers tany trelated tquestions. tThis conversation tis tnot tnecessary tto tbe theld tface-to-face tand tcan tbe theld on the tphone ttoo.


  • Introduction

First tof tall, tthere twould tbe topening tstatements tgiven tby tthe tmediator and the twill telucidate this trole tas ta tmediator. tThe tmediator twill task tif both tthe tparties tagree tto tthe tprocess tor tnot? tIf tthe tparties tagree tthe mediation tprocess thappens tas tmentioned tin tthe tsteps. tIf tthe tparties refuse tto trefer tthe tmatter tfor tmediation tthey tare timposed tsome tcost sanctions tby tthe tCourt tfor tignoring tthe tprocess.


  • Statement of the problem

The tmediator tgives tthe tparties ta tchance tto tpresent ttheir tissues tas ttheir opening tstatement. tThe treason tfor tthis tis tthat tby tthe tend tof tthese statements tboth tthe tparties tand tthe tmediator tshould thave ta tbetter understanding tof tthe tsituation.


  • Joint discussion

The tmediator twill tdiscuss tthe tissues tof tboth tthe tparties tand twould talso ask trelevant tquestions tto tthem tto tacquire tadditional tinformation. tHe would talso tbe table tto tfigure tout tthrough tthis tdiscussion twhat tissues should tbe tsettled tfirst. t


  • Private discussion

After tthe tjoint tdiscussion tof tthe tissues, teach tparty tis tgiven tan opportunity tto tdiscuss tin tprivate ttheir tconcerns twith tthe tmediator tand also tif tthey twant twith ttheir tlawyers. tIt tis tan timportant tstep twhich thelps the tparties tto tbe tprepared tfor tnegotiation.


  • Negotiation

The tparties tnegotiate tuntil tthey treach ta tsettlement twhich tis tacceptable to both tsides. tThe tmediator tprovides ta tsolution twhich tsaves tthe tinterests tof both tsides. tIf tnegotiation tfails tthe tmatter tis tthen treferred tto tthe tCourt. t


  • Agreement

When tthe tterms tof tthe tagreement tare tdecided tthe tparties tare tre-assembled. tThe tmediator twould torally tconfirm tthe tterms tof tthe settlement tthen tthey twould tbe twritten tand tsigned tby tthe tparties. tThe settlement thas ta tbinding teffect tand tis tenforceable tin ta tcourt tof tlaw. tThe mediator tgives ta tclosing tstatement tby tthanking tthe tparties tfor ttheir tand cooperation tduring tthe tentire tprocess. t


Advantages of family mediation

  • The tmatters tare thandled tamicably twithout taffecting tthe trelationship tbetween tpeople. t

  • Provides ta tspeedy tjustice twhich talso treduces tthe tburden tof tthe tcourts. t

  • It tis tflexible tand tgives tthe tright tto tthe tparties tto tdecide twhether tthey twant tto taccept tor treject tthe toutcome tof tthe ttrial.

  • It tsaves tthe tfamily trelationship tand tthe tchildren tof tthe tfamily tfrom temotional tissues tthey tmight tface tdue tto tthe tlong tcourt tlitigation. tAlso, tit tis tdefinitely ta tgood tidea tfor tcases twhere tthe tparents thave tto tbe tin ttouch teven tafter ttheir tdivorce tdue tto ttheir tchild.

  • It tmaintains tprivacy tand tconfidentiality, twhich tgives tparties tan toption tto topen tup tas tto twhat toption tthey twant tto tconsider twhich tdoes tnot thappen tin tcourt ttrials. tThe thigh tprofile tclients tby tusing tthis tmethod tcan tkeep tthe tdetails tof ttheir tissues tout tof tthe teyes tof tthe tpublic.

  • It talso tsaves tthe tcost tof tthe tparties tas tthey thave tmuch tmore tcontrol tover tthe tprocess tthan tin tcourt ttrials.

  • When tthe tmatter tis tfamily-related tit tgets tuglier tin tcourt tproceedings twhile tin tmediation tthe tparties tcan tdiscuss tand treach tan tagreement tfor tsettlement. tThis tleads tto tthem tbeing tmore tconvinced tas tto twhat tdecision tis tmade.

  • In tmediation, tthe tdecision tcan tbe tmade taccording tto twhat tsuits tthe trequirements tof tthe tfamily, twhich tmight tnot tbe tthe tscenario tin tcourts.


Benefits of family mediation for lawyers

There tare tcertain tbenefits twhich tthe tlawyer tgains tfrom tfamily tmediation. They tare:

  • The tlawyers twho tare talready tburdened twith tlots tof ttrials tat thand tare trelieved twhen tthe tcase tis treferred tfor tmediation tas tit tsaves ttheir ttime.

  • If tthe tclient tis tsatisfied tthe tlawyer’s tjob tis tdone tand the tsuccessfully tsolves ta tcase.

  • If tthe tclient tis tsatisfied tby tthe tlawyer the tmay trefer thim tto tother tpeople ttoo tand tthe tlawyer tcan tget tmore tcases tin tthis tmanner.

  • If tthe tdecision tof tthe tmediation tis tin tfavour tof tthe tclient, tthe tlawyer tgets twell tpaid.


Conclusion

The tMediation tprocess tin ta tfamily tlaw tdispute tis tsafe, tinformal tand talso a tway tto tprotect tthe tconfidentiality tof tthe tparties. tThe tpopularity tof mediation tin tfamily tlaw tdisputes tis tgrowing. tThe tparties tnot tonly tget tan opportunity tto ttry tand tresolve ttheir tdispute tby tdiscussion tbut talso tget an opinion tof ta tmediator twho tis tmore taware tof tsuch tcases.


It talso tensures tthe tsatisfaction tof tparties twhen tmediators tlisten tto ttheir opinions tand ttry tto treach ta tsolution twhich tis tfeasible tfor tboth tof tthem. They tcan tget ta tsecond topinion tfrom ttheir tlawyer. tAlso, tif tthe tparties are not tsatisfied tby tthe toutcome tof tmediation tthey talways thave tanother door open tto tthem tto treach tout tto tthe tCourt.