What is mediation?
Family mediation is 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.
Definition of UK College of Family Mediators.
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
- The whole process is voluntary.
- Mediation is a confidential process, except where child protection issues arise.
- The mediator is both neutral and impartial as between the individuals concerned. The mediator does not know either party.
- 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 mediators do not give advice, they provide information
- 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
Please note that note 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. one party suffers a mental disorder.
Areas of Legal Expertise
- Emergency Applications
- Divorce & Separation
- Domestic Violence
- Financial Matters
- Contact & Residence
- Care Proceedings