Family mediation helps when your relationship has broken down and you need to resolve practical issues such as ..
- Making arrangements for children
- Sorting out property and finances, or
- Making your own child maintenance payments
.. but when you also want to have as much control over what is decided and want it to cost the least possible in financial, but also in emotional terms.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is not couples counselling. Your mediator will not try to get you and your ex-partner back together, although your mediator will know how to signpost you elsewhere, should you both feel you have changed your mind about divorce.
If you've just split up or you've been separated for a while, whether you are separating, divorcing or dissolving a civil partnership, you might need to sort out future arrangements with your ex or other family members. Family mediation can support you to take knowledgeable decisions about your family or finances, without incurring significant legal fees or going through a long, drawn-out court battle. A typical divorce settlement through the court system can take more than a year to negotiate and can cost upwards of £20,000. Family mediation typically takes 6 sessions to resolve matters and represents a fraction of the cost of court proceedings and negotiated settlements with solicitors.
Mediation is a way of resolving difficulties through joint meetings with the help of a legally trained, impartial mediator. Mediators are informed by the law but work together with both of you to find the best outcomes for your family. Mediation offers a most cost effective and least emotionally draining platform to start to work constructively towards agreeing the best outcome for both of you. This benefits everyone involved and removes much of the adversarial approach to family law matters which can make everything more costly and damaging.
It can also be used to help with the other issues you might face, for example, your children keeping in touch with their grandparents, step families, or in-laws. Mediation can also be helpful when arrangements you’ve made before need to change, particularly as your children grow up and their needs change.
If you go to court to sort out your issues, the judge will make the decisions. You will need to stick to these decisions even if one or both of you feel unhappy about them. Mediation can help you stay in control. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and explain how you can make an agreement legally binding.
Any agreement made through family mediation can become legally binding if it is written into a 'consent order' and submitted to court for approval, thus granting a Consent Order. This is usually the case for financial matters in order to achieve a clean break of mutual finances but is not always necessary for agreements relating to children.
What are the Benefits of Family Mediation?
- Gives you more say about what happens. In court a judge will make the decisions. With mediation you and the other party are supported to make the decisions, yourselves.
- Is less stressful, with less conflict between you and your partner. It is your mediator’s role to try to manage and reduce the stress, animosity and conflict between you both in order to facilitate a situation where you can both reach the best agreement for everyone.
- Improves communication and supports you both to look towards the future rather than be informed by the past.
- If you have children, it is less upsetting for them. The adversarial nature of court often maintains conflict and does not generally help parents to learn to co-parent, apart. Mediation starts to facilitate a new form of communication between separated parents which can form a template for future agreements.
- You learn a new model for communication which helps where children are involved and joint decisions will be required for some time to come. Mediation especially helps to develop positive co-parenting relationships following divorce or separation. Research indicates that the new 'alliance' between parents is paramount for the emotional well-being of children of divorce.
If your circumstances are suitable for mediation, we would strongly advise that you opt to mediate with us.
We offer flexibility in the scheduling of your mediation – including evenings and weekends. We can also usually see you very quickly once you are ready to get started and will not create long delays between sessions.
Online mediation offers flexibility and ease in scheduling for clients who find it difficult to schedule or attend face to face sessions.
We can organise mediation via Skype, Zoom or other network provider.