Family Mediation Week 2021
It is challenging to navigate the emotional and practical challenges that a relationship breakdown brings, especially when children are involved. Sadly, in January, we see a rise in enquiries for divorce and this year, factoring in a third lockdown, we are now witnessing enquiry levels rise by up to 67% compared to last year.
For the majority of our clients, this is their first experience of separation and getting divorced requires a lot of decision making: who will the children live with? What will happen with money? What will happen to the family home?
Clients often do not know where to start or what options are available, believing that divorce requires a painful, lengthy and expensive court case; however, this is rarely the reality. Instead, the majority of our cases are settled through negotiation and mediation.
We asked Sushma Kotchea, Managing Partner of our Nottingham office and family mediator to join us on the blog to explain how mediation can help a family and why we support Family Mediation Week 2021.
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is when an independent, professionally trained mediator or mediators help to work out an agreement about issues such as:
- Arrangements for children
- Child maintenance payments
- Finances (for example, what to do with the family house, savings, pension, debts)
- It can also help with other family issues; for example, children keeping in touch with their grandparents, stepfamilies, or in-laws.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- It avoids the conflict between parents, which is all to frequent a feature of court proceedings.
- It is quicker.
- It is cheaper.
- It encourages those taking part in mediation to make their own informed decisions about what is best for them, their children and their families.
Family Mediation Week 2021
Family Mediation Week, starts today, (18 January) and runs through until the 22 January.
The week aims to provide answers, by sharing information about the mediation process. It will explain how the Family Mediation Council registered mediators can help families consider what is best for their future, and how mediation is available online to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout Family Mediation Week, the Family Mediation Council will be sharing information about family mediation to help people understand more about how it works, when it might be suitable, the option of involving older children in deciding what happens to them known as ‘child inclusive mediation’.
Mediation in a lockdown
Mediation has adapted to the current climate, and we are now offering virtual online remote family mediation services.
A virtual mediation session is more challenging than face-to-face, but having undertaken several remote mediation sessions (with some trepidation and scepticism), thankfully these have proven to be effective.
Whether online or in-person, mediation is still helping my clients in these tough, challenging and turbulent times to reach their informed agreements in a timely manner, saving hefty legal costs and allowing them to have a more dignified separation/divorce.
Family mediation is the smarter option for separating/divorcing couples. It allows them to maintain control of the outcomes and decisions concerning their children and their finances on a fair and amicable basis with the help of a mediator who will provide pragmatic guidance and information to support the parties as a third-party neutral.
Meet the mediators
- Gavin Scott, London, 020 7421 3300, [email protected]
- Alice Wightman, London, 0203 096 7077, [email protected]
Get in touch
To find out more:
Follow Family Mediation Week on Twitter @FamilyMedWeek
Stowe Family Law LLP employs mediators on the FMC Register, which means they meet agreed professional standards. The FMC Register can be searched online, enabling people to find mediators near them, working online, and – if relevant – who offer legal aid.