Family Mediation Week – 16 - 20 January 2023

17 January 2023

The Family Mediation Council, who maintains a professional register of family mediators is running Family Mediation Week and we are proud to be supporting this.

Resolution, which is a body of lawyers who encourage parties to separate and resolve issues over childcare arrangements, with a minimum of hostility and bitterness and in open and honest fashion, are also promoting Family Mediation Week. Our family lawyers are all members of Resolution and are proud to be so.

We encourage mediation and promote it wherever possible, and this week in particular is an opportunity to raise awareness of family mediation and of the benefits it can bring to separating families.

You may have heard about mediation, but exactly what it is?

It is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you work out arrangements for children and finances following separation.

Mediation helps you stay in control and to take part in the decision making. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. Because of this, it is a voluntary process, which you should enter in an open and honest fashion, wanting to reach a resolution that meets all parties' needs, and understanding that tis often means compromise.

The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and the children, if necessary, and will explain what needs to happen to make an agreement between you legally binding.

The process is less stressful and significantly quicker than going to court and can save you money. Legal aid is available if you are financially eligible.

Mediators work with separating couples in ways that are flexible and tailor-made for your situation.  You do not have to be in the same space as your spouse, ex-partner or other parent of the child, if you or the mediator decides that working with you in separate spaces would be preferable.

Is it quicker?

In short, almost always. Especially should you find yourself in Court proceedings. At present there are severe backlogs at our Courts, and you can be waiting months for a date to be fixed when you issue an application. An agreement could have been reached at mediation during that time, or at least much progress made.

Of course, there is also the matter of reducing any legal fees as whilst there is a fee for mediation and legal advice, it is less than should you go to Court.

How do I contact a mediator?

We can recommend many trusted, experienced mediators to you. We work closely with the mediator should this be necessary, and we can provide you with the legal advice before, during and after, so as you can start the process informed and advised.

We can assist you with ensuring any agreement reached at mediation is then transferred into a legally binding document.

Graham Coy, Partner of the Family Team is an experienced accredited mediator himself and can discuss the process more with you.

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