What is family mediation ?
Family mediation is a way of resolving disputes which arise before, during or after separation or divorce.
The family mediation process helps divorcing and separating couples come to an agreement for the arrangements of their children and finances in a constructive and structured way.
It is a voluntary and confidential process which gives the parties a chance to explain their issues, hopes, concerns and needs to each other in the presence of a qualified family mediator.
Family mediation provides a safe environment, helping to reduce hostility and improve the chances of long term positive communication.
The mediator will help you to explore options. The mediator will assist you in checking how practical your proposals really are, guiding you to reach acceptable and workable solutions. However, the outcome you reach is entirely under your control.
The family mediator does not advise people what to do, give them legal advice or counselling.
In some mediation cases the mediator may also consult directly with the children.
How does family mediation work ?
The family mediation process involves the couple working together with the mediator.
There are three stages:
Assessment Meeting - this meeting (sometimes called the intake meeting) is to explain the process of mediation and to give you an opportunity to ask questions as we want you to be comfortable with mediation. It is also important to assess if the issues are suitable for mediation.
Mediation Sessions - at the first session you will discuss the issues you wish to mediate. The areas of mediation can be child contact, financial matters and property. These sessions are 1 hour and 30 minutes long.
End of Mediation - at the end of the mediation process you will be given a document setting out your proposals and a copy of your financial disclosure (if appropriate). You may then take these to a solicitor to put the proposals into a legal and binding format such as a Consent Order. You can always have the option to return to mediation at any time in the future.
What can you discuss in mediation ?
You are free to discuss any issues that you wish. Common topics which arise in family mediation are:
- Future arrangements for the children.
- Future arrangements for finances which can include the family home and other assets.
- You might also find it useful to discuss parenting arrangements or the preparation of a parenting plan with the assistance of the family mediator.
- We can also discuss which avenues of communication are typically successful or alternative ones where you think there could be an improvement in relations.
Does mediation work ?
Yes. We have a very high percentage of clients who reach a full agreement on the children and financial matters.