Divorce and Co-Parenting Mediation is for separating, separated and divorced couples. The process is designed to help parents work together to consider the interests of the children and think about the transition practically and financially after a separation.
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. Mediation can provide legal information about the divorce process and implementing your financial proposals.
Some separated couples and parents choose to see a mediator first before going to see their individual solicitors. Sometimes, it can be helpful for the couple to hear together the legal information and options following a separation, and seek legal advice between mediation meetings.
Mediation can be structured and a timetable can be agreed to ensure it progresses if the couple feel it would be beneficial. Mediation can also go at a slower pace if you both prefer. The mediator works with you to suit you and your family. It is a voluntary and confidential process where the mediator is impartial throughout the process.
The mediator facilitates communication between the couple, identifying potential and practical solutions, reality-testing proposals made by one or both, 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.
More information is set out in my blog Family Mediation – what do you need to know?
There are many reasons:
Clients choose mediation to find creative and bespoke solutions, and have 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 spouses and parents as it encourages you both to talk and listen. The mediator works with you to consider the interests of the children and reflect on your co-parenting relationship. Mediation can mean that you avoid potentially acrimonious and costly correspondence between solicitors.