Family Mediation: what is it and how can it help?

18 January 2021

Monday 18 January marks the beginning of Family Mediation Week. The purpose of this short article is to provide an insight into what Family Mediation is and what it offers.

The breakdown of any relationship, married or not, is one of the most painful and traumatic events any of us will ever experience. Never more was that the case than now in lock-down. The Coronavirus has put almost every relationship under enormous strain. Against that background, it is even more difficult to deal with separation and divorce.

This is why it is vital to choose the most appropriate option available to resolve financial issues and arrangements for children.

Mediation is one of those and for many it can prove to be the best.

Family Mediators are independent, impartial and professionally trained.

Family Mediation focuses on helping clients find a solution which works for them and their children. Mediators will explain what is needed to ensure that any agreement reached in Mediation is legally binding.

The advantages of Family Mediation are:

  • It is far less combative and confrontational than going to court.
  • Equally, less stressful.
  • Focuses on areas of conflict and defusing them.
  • Far quicker.
  • Considerably less expensive.
  • Allows clients to have more control over their own and their children's futures.
  • Helps clients move on more easily to the next stage of their lives.

Family Mediation also provides children with the vital opportunity to talk to specially trained Mediators and  express how they feel, what's worrying them and what they would like to see happen. Children can very often be badly affected when their parents split up and can suffer enormously from parental conflict.

Family Mediation helps to put children first so they can go on to have positive relationships with both parents, enjoy their childhood and form stable relationships themselves when they grow up.

Recently I read an article entitled, "The Key to a Happier Divorce" by Jayne Freeman, a divorced writer and postpartum doula, based in New Jersey. She has always been an advocate for Family Mediation and has written frequently about the topic. Here is an excerpt from her recent article:

"How parents handle disagreements in life sets an example for dealing with conflict in any challenging life event. Children watch and learn and what will we show them - fury and vindictiveness or conflict management and resolution? Let's face it, most marriages that end do not do so with a friendly handshake and a pat on the back, hey, sorry it didn't work out, better luck next time. Divorce is generally a crisis but it needn't be traumatic. How it unfolds is entirely in your hands."

That's where Mediation comes in.

If you woud like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article please contact Graham Coy or use the enquiry form below.

Graham is a Partner in the Family team at Wilsons and an experienced Family Mediator. He would be pleased to discuss any of the issues in this article.

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