Family Mediation is for separated, separating and divorcing couples. The process is designed to assist a couple negotiate a solution to their dispute, whether it relates to the child arrangements, divorce and/or financial matters. It is a voluntary and confidential process involving an impartial mediator, who is neutral throughout the process.
The mediator facilitates communication between the couple, identifying potential and practical solutions, reality-testing proposals made by either person, and providing legal information.
Family mediation is not designed to replace legal advice; it is common and strongly encouraged by the mediator that each person obtain independent legal advice outside the mediation process. You can find a solicitor who is committed to dealing with family issues in a constructive way from the Resolution website. A mediator cannot provide legal advice and is not empowered to impose a decision on anyone or make a finding about what may or may not have happened during the relationship.
Mediation is future focussed and is not a form of couples counselling. It focuses on the practicalities of separation now and in the future, including the division of assets and sharing the care of any children.
More information is set out in my blog Family Mediation – what do you need to know?
There are many reasons:
Clients often choose mediation to find creative and bespoke solutions, and greater control over the separation process compared with what can be achieved in the court process. Clients often feel empowered that they have reached a decision together rather than have a decision imposed on them.
Cost – this is known upfront and there are no hidden costs. You pay for face to face meetings and preparation of documents (agreed in advance). It is much more cost effective than litigation, as the clients share the mediator’s costs rather than each paying a solicitor separately.
Mediation generally preserves better relationships between former spouses and partners, which is particularly important for future co-parenting, as it avoids potentially acrimonious correspondence between parties’ solicitors.