Divorces, inheritance issues, living arrangements, … In family matters, there are many emotions involved. An accredited mediator acts as a neutral third party in your conflict and facilitates discussions between the parties. This is how you reach a comprehensive mediation agreement supported by all parties involved. But what is the difference between a mediator with or without accreditation? And when can you use a lawyer acting as mediator in family matters? Nelissen Grade will advise you.
Lawyer and accredited mediator: legal assistance including an enforceable agreement
Anyone can mediate, even you – and even without a law degree. The title of mediator is not protected and can, therefore, be used lightly, with all the associated consequences. An accredited mediator, on the other hand, has received specific training from a recognised body. But even that does not mean that they have a legal background. You can also obtain this accreditation as a psychologist or journalist, for example. Only a bachelor's degree is required.
That is where our lawyers acting as mediators make a difference. Not only have we achieved special recognition as mediators, but our law degrees also give us an edge. Thanks to our expertise and experience as lawyers, we immediately spot the legal points of contention in a conflict. Nelissen Grade advises with expertise: as an expert in mediation, family law and other branches of law, and that is reflected in the agreement you reach.
“A clause can describe the perfect situation, but that is of no use to you if implementation proves impossible. When the mediator puts the agreement on paper, their job is done. As a lawyer, on the other hand, I can see from the outset that certain agreements will be impracticable. My job is to find a legal solution that works in practice.”– Joke Decabooter, NG partner
#1 | A solution to your conflict: assistance from an accredited mediator in family matters
Do you have a conflict in family matters and are you looking for an impartial third party to help talks run smoothly? Nelissen Grade’s accredited mediators will guide you from start to finish. We bring all parties to the table and strive to reach an enforceable legal agreement. Once we have a mediation agreement, we subsequently have it approved by a court. This ensures that there is an enforceable document guaranteeing that the parties – if they do not comply with the agreement spontaneously – can also enforce it. In cases involving maintenance payments, in particular, our lawyers acting as mediators take no chances. After all, approval by a court is required for the enforcement of your agreement.
#2 | A mediation agreement already in place, but circumstances have changed?
Once your agreement has been signed and approved by the court, you cannot simply change it later, especially not if it concerns your children. If you want to change an aspect of the residence arrangements or adjust the maintenance contribution but cannot reach a mutual agreement, you must prove in proceedings before the family court that the circumstances have changed and also that they are in your child's interest. Afterwards, it is up to a court to determine whether you have demonstrated the existence of those circumstances and whether a change is possible. As both lawyers and mediators, Nelissen Grade’s legal experts will provide assistance and advice.
#3 | Legal advice behind the scenes
If you are in the midst of a family conflict and have already engaged an (accredited) mediator, our lawyers acting as mediators can still guide you to an amicable solution. We analyse the agreements already made and look at them from a legal perspective, doing so without actively intervening but rather as a counsel acting behind the scenes focused solely on your interests. As such, we do not act as neutral mediators but rather as partial legal experts and always with the required knowledge and know-how to reach a legally conclusive and practical solution.
“A mediation agreement is much more than a few agreements that are simply jotted down. It has legal value and must therefore be respected.”– Joke Decabooter, NG partner