Noble Solicitors talks about Mediation
What is mediation?
According to the UK college of family mediators family mediation is described as a process in which trained and impartial mediators assist those involved in family or relationship breakdown and in particular separating and divorcing couples to communicate better with one another and to reach informed decisions about some or all of the related issues. The issues may concern their relationship, the present and future arrangements for any children, finance and property and any other practical matters. It is not relationship counselling or marriage guidance. Many mediators are family lawyers and as such have good knowledge of what would or would nor be possible in terms of balance and agreement between the parties and acceptable by the court who may have to sanction the agreement in an order.
What are the benefits?
Improved communication between the parties
Focus on the benefits for their children in co-operating as much as possible
The process is controlled by the couple,
the agenda is theirs
they have “ownership” of the result and there is no sense of one party winning and the other losing
there is reduced friction and misunderstanding between the parties
they are more likely to comply with an agreement entered into voluntarily rather than imposed upon them by the court.
The cost to the parties in financial terms can be considerably less than the more traditional route of court proceedings.
The whole process is voluntary.
Mediation is a confidential process, except where child protection issues arise, when the mediator is under an obligation to report such issues.
The mediator is both neutral and impartial as between the individuals concerned. The mediator does not know either party. The mediator does not give advice, but can give information to both parties.
The parties make their own decisions and agree the outcomes of mediation.
There should be access to independent legal advice during mediation, so both parties retain the right to obtain advice from their solicitors during the process.
The outcome comprises two parts. The open financial summary and a privileged memorandum of understanding. Privileged means that the content of the discussions and negotiations between the couple cannot be referred to or used in subsequent court proceedings unless both parties agree. The financial disclosure each party is required to provide is open, and can be disclosed.
Not every case is suitable for mediation. In some instances the issues in dispute are not capable of being mediated e.g. religious differences. In other cases, there might be serious domestic violence or a very clear and substantial imbalance of power between the parties which makes the process unsuitable, e.g. if one party suffers a mental disorder.
Joseph Cox is a solicitor and trained family mediator with Noble Solicitors. If you need assistance with Mediation please contact Joseph Cox by email firstname.lastname@example.org