The importance of mediation

17 January 2022

Today, Monday 17 January 2021, marks the first day of Family Mediation Week. 
Graham Coy, Partner in the Family team, highlighted Mediation Week last year in 2021. Graham is a Mediator accredited with The Family Mediation Council and a member of The Family Mediators Association.
Lisa Payne, a Chartered Legal Executive, having recently joined Wilsons, echoes the importance of considering mediation and the benefits it can bring. 
What is mediation? 
Mediation is a process where an independent, professionally trained mediator can help you work out arrangements for divorce/dissolution, resolving the financial issues upon relationship breakdown and for children. Civil partnerships and non-married couples can also be seen and will benefit from mediation. 
The mediator assists both parties to find a solution that works for everyone. Inevitably, both parties will make compromises, but comfort can often be found in reaching that agreement through discussions rather than a Judge making an order on your behalf. 
Specially trained mediators can see children directly, and report back to parents to explain how they feel and what they would like to see happen and feel listened to. Graham is trained to speak to children. 
The sessions can take place remotely, or in person, and if you do not want to be in the same room as your partner/spouse, that is also achievable. The process can be tailored to your needs, which is constructive in reaching an agreement. There could be just one session, or several. 
You could discuss all issues, or one discrete matter that you and your partner/spouse are having difficulties in resolving. 
More often than not, the process is less costly than traditional litigation carried out through lawyers. It is also quicker than Court proceedings, especially at present when the Courts are under pressure. 
A mediator may be legally trained or come from a therapeutic background. There are various models of mediation but the one most likely to prove successful is co-mediation, involving a legally trained mediator and the other with therapeutic training. The mediator is often a family lawyer themselves, but they do not provide you with legal advice. This is where we at Wilsons will advise you. Our expertise means we can provide you with expert tailored legal advice ahead of mediation, during, and afterwards will assist you in preparing documentation to record the agreement reached at mediation. 
Here at Wilsons, when appropriate, we will always recommend you explore mediation for the benefits Graham has already highlighted. 
Further, whilst family lawyers have always been mindful of their client's mental health and how the breakdown of any family unit can be triggering, this is particularly the case following the pandemic and the challenges this has brought.
Mental health can be managed more carefully and delicately during mediation than in Court proceedings. If you or your spouse is struggling with their mental health, this may impact on the ability to make decisions, negotiate etc, which issue can be identified to the mediator and steps put in place to best deal with this. 
Potential conflict, being an obvious trigger, is reduced, as whilst the fact of the family breakdown cannot be ignored, ideally both parties enter the process willing to reach an agreement, which already removes an element of animosity. 
You may find it much less confrontational and anxiety inducing to discuss matters with us here at Wilsons and the mediator, than a Judge in a Court room, which can be an intimidating environment for some. The mediation process can involve regular breaks and there is no prescriptive structure unlike a Court hearing, so the mediation meeting can be tailored to suit you and your needs. 
Being mindful of our client's mental health, we can recommend trusted experts to support you during the mediation process and even co-mediate, such as a family consultant, therapist etc.
The experts will work therapeutically with families and their children who are going through the process of separation and putting child arrangements in place. We can assist you with a holistic approach to ensure you have the best team to support you from all angles. We put you first. 
Our Family team will be more than happy to discuss mediation and any aspect of your relationship breakdown. 

Back to news