Family mediation offers clients a smarter and more dignified way to resolve family disputes as opposed to the traditional solicitor led and court route approach.
It is an opportunity for parties to meet with an impartial third-party: the mediator who will give pragmatic guidance and legal information to help them reach their own resolutions. This is known as ‘assisted negotiation’.
When separating couples are at a point of crisis the first point of call will be to seek legal advice from a family solicitor and in many cases, the issues can only be resolved via legal intervention. This however, is not the only option available, mediation can be a better alternative when it is assessed as a suitable forum by the mediator.
Benefits of family mediation
By choosing mediation the parties can:
- Explore all issues arising out of their relationship break up in complete confidence
- Be impartially informed about and evaluate possible choices
- Find common ground
- Work at a pace agreed and controlled by them
- Work at their own negotiated agenda
- Find compromise solutions
- Agree to disagree but reach partial understandings
- Look forward without judgements about the past
- Gain understanding, trust and work on better communication
- Model a co-operative future relationship and not further conflict
- Think together about their children’s needs and future well-being
- Work to find comprehensive solutions to all issues including finance, property and children’s arrangements
In addition, mediation reduces financial costs and limits the stress and anxiety that the parties will experience during the relationship break up.
Research studies have shown that family disputes resolved via mediation are less acrimonious than those that are settled through the court system. Furthermore, decisions made by the parties in mediation are more likely to be kept as opposed to court-imposed orders.
Mediation works best when supported by expert family solicitors who should ideally, be instructed from the outset of the mediation process to advise and assist the parties throughout.
When agreements are reached in mediation, if considered necessary these can be converted into legal binding orders by consent with the help of the parties’ solicitors.
Meet the mediators
I strongly support the use of mediation when managing a relationship breakdown, and I am an Accredited Family Mediator. My contact details are below along with the other mediators in our team:
- Sushma Kotecha, Nottingham Office, 0115 759 4534, [email protected]
- Graham Coy, London Chancery Lane Office, 020 7421 3300, [email protected]
- Gavin Scott, London Chancery Lane Office, 020 7421 3300, [email protected]