What is Mediation?

and How does it work?

Family Mediation

Mediation Explained

Family mediation is a voluntary, confidential, impartial process by which separating, or separated, couples are helped to resolve their differences with the aid of a trained mediator.

The mediator is neutral and importantly does not make decisions for you, or give opinions as to the likely outcome. Their role is to assist you both in being able to make informed decisions, including the necessary sharing of financial information if resolving financial matters, and managing and facilitating the discussions that need to be had.

It is not counselling or a process for reconciliation but offers a cost effective and bespoke process to work through family law issues. The mediator does not provide legal advice during the process but can provide neutral legal information and will explain how and where legal advice alongside mediation can benefit you both in reaching the decisions that need to be made.

All the discussions at mediation take place on a “without prejudice” basis which means they cannot be seen by the Court or discussed outside of the mediation process. This gives an important level of freedom to have a frank, “cards on table”, approach to discussions without fear of being held to a solution you are exploring until you are ready and choose to do so.

The aim of mediation is to produce a, non-binding, set of proposals representing how you both feel you can move forward into the future. You are in control of the process, what is discussed and any resolution. It remains voluntary at all times and no-one will force you to do anything you do not wish to do.

The mediators role is to help guide you through those discussions to find the resolution and will explain what needs to happen, if you choose to do so, to make that resolution legally binding. It is then for both of you to chose whether or not to make those fully binding.

Mediation sessions are tailored to your individual needs meaning that every mediation will be unique but allows you to get to the heart of the issues that are impacting on your particular family dynamic.

It can be used in many circumstances -from couples making the difficult decision to separate to parents, long since separated, with existing arrangements for children in place who may wish to review these particularly as the children are growing up.

All of our members are committed to all forms of dispute resolution which includes mediation. Some are trained mediators themselves, which enables them to bring their legal experience to benefit the mediation process, and all work with their clients to support them during the process of mediation -providing the legal advice to ensure the best value from the mediation process you have chosen to engage in.

There are also other forms of mediation such as hybrid mediation which is increasing in popularity, in particular in cases which may have started out as litigation but wish to try a different approach but where the traditional family mediation model may not be appropriate.

Please contact one of our members for further information about mediation.

See also our article “How can I benefit from Family Mediation

mediation meeting