Family as an institution is highly revered in Indian society. Often we put the family ahead of the individual. Respect for elders, following the generations old traditions and rituals, staying together as a joint family- these are some of the unique characteristics of family set up in India which we hardly hear of in the West. However, with greater integration of the cultures of the West and East, the societal structure in India is also undergoing a metamorphosis. We see the trend of nuclear families being on the rise. With both the partners working, we have more single-child families. Unfortunately there is also lesser tolerance and greater misunderstandings. Conflicts are normal and bound to happen in families. What is of grave concern is the fact that nowadays, people are less willing to adjust and somehow all the more ready to pick fights and let the issues escalate. What might start as an argument might flare up to be a full blown confrontation and it isn’t a surprise anymore if families decide to land up in court for the final resolution of such disagreements.
Civil litigation is witnessing a rise and most of the cases involve kin contesting within themselves for what they believe are their rightful claims. There are disputes with respect to property division, wills and estate or a couple no longer compatible with each other filing for a divorce or separation. People are more impulsive to act and often end up indulging in a slugfest with their own kin, in the public sphere. Formal litigation can end up costing you a lot of money, time and reputation as well. It isn’t unusual for an individual being party to a family dispute also experiencing a loss of repute within his/her professional sphere. This could prove to be disastrous especially for those whose businesses or whichever profession they are part of, depends largely on reputation.
The vital question which must be pondered over before you decide to approach the court to get your grievance addressed is, whether a suit to court is the only option you have, and also if it will be the most effective one? Family disputes are quite complicated and the proceedings could take a turn for worse if not optimally handled. Though not thought of as the preliminary step to litigation, mediation is still a lesser known course of action within the legal world. With time it is picking up steam and winning more supporters since it provides a viable and more practical alternative to formal litigation. Mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution is gradually proving its worth for resolving family disputes. Our team of advocates always try to get the client to discuss the issues with the opposite party to see if some common ground could be reached. When parties are not able to resolve their disputes through discussion and negotiation, the logical next step is to seek the assistance of a third party to facilitate communication and the search for a solution. This is basically the role of a mediator and this is where we come to the fore to try to represent your cause and find a middle position which might be acceptable to both sides.
Our goal as a mediator is for the parties to reach a voluntary settlement which is then put in writing and becomes a contract. In this process as a neutral third party (mediator) we help disputants to come to a consensus on their own. We assist the parties in ﬁnding a resolution to their conﬂicts in a manner which is sustainable and self-determined. Mediation is constructive and provides a chance for personal development and social growth to the parties in a conﬂict with each other. The principle of voluntariness and the reaching of the solution by the parties themselves give the satisfaction of substantive justice being attained. Additionally, mediation holds the promise of being cost-efficient and a faster dispute resolution compared with other methods. This is also the reason why we urge our clients to opt for mediation first instead of approaching the court straight away. Another reason to prefer mediation over court proceedings is the conﬁdentiality factor and the assurance that a cordial relationship will prevail with the other party after the dispute has ended. This is primarily what families caught in family disputes seek. Hence, taking into account all these factors, our team has always advocated the route of mediation before filing of cases in order to resolve family conﬂicts. The legal process being more cumbersome and also heavy on your pocket is primarily the reason why mediation is a much more practical alternative. Before you end you end up getting embroiled in tedious court proceedings, we recommend you at least give a chance to one of our lawyers to apprise you of the alternatives available to you. Our mission has always been to provide the best and the most quick solutions to our clients and we abide by these principles in our dealings. As mediators, we step beyond the typical sphere of law and make sure our clients not only get their disputes resolved but also the underlying issues addressed so as to avoid similar confrontations in the future.