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Family Mediation

Family law mediators are specially trained to facilitate conversations and discussions between parties who have decided to separate. This can include discussions about financial matters, child arrangements and other practicalities relating to separation.

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Mediation FAQs

One obvious point is that the family mediator cannot provide you with separate and individualised, independent legal advice. The mediator can however, provide you with general legal and other information in an even handed way, to assist you both when working towards solutions. Through the mediation process you are always recommended to seek your own legal advice from a solicitor. This works hand in hand with mediation and to help you make an informed decision.

Mediation essentially runs parallel to any court proceedings if they are up and running. It does not prejudice the court proceedings and it should not cause any delays. If you are able to reach an agreement during family mediation then this can be converted, for example, into a consent order and approved by a judge. If, however, you are not able to reach an agreement during family mediation, then a judge can decide on the issue.

Yes, you can try family mediation again and if your situation has changed or there is a new issue you can come back to mediation again. This is all positive to help with communication, to identify the issues that you are finding difficult to resolve and to help you promote an overall agreement.

Try to avoid blaming one person or the other. Focus instead on the problem, identify what you can agree and therefore what remains in dispute; and then engage in joint problem solving. Compromise should not be underestimated and it is always important to provide positive and constructive feedback during family mediation.

Mediation can continue until there is a resolution between the couple. The initial meeting lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Full mediation sessions usually last between 1 – 2 hours depending on the complexity of the situation.

Once you make contact with us, we can consider any pressure of time that you may be under and to work as quickly as possible to confirm a family mediation date for you. Overall, mediation can be arranged quickly and subject to screening interviews (to assess whether mediation is suitable), if suitable, a mediation session could be arranged within a matter of days.

Sometimes mediation, like any form of communication, can cause some stress and anxiety. There may be a history of conflict or you do not like confrontation. However, mediation is seen as a conciliatory process and the mediator is there to help reduce any tension and to allow you both to communicate effectively. It is important each person enters the mediation process able to discuss matters freely. Being prepared for mediation and understanding what you would like to get out of the process will help you and allow you also to feel more confident. Our mediator can speak to you about this.

Mediation is voluntary and you are not forced to attend mediation. You come to mediation by choice. However, family mediation may be recommended as an alternative to the family court process.

Our mediator can speak with both of you. It is natural for someone to be skeptical or unsure about how mediation may be able to help. Family mediation, of course, is a voluntary process and no one can be forced to mediate.

If you cannot reach an agreement through family mediation or that your case is not suitable, a family judge can ultimately decide on any issues that remain in dispute with you and your partner. Mediation is still a positive experience because it can significantly improve your communication with each other, and this can help promote an overall agreement by reducing any acrimony during future court proceedings.

We can discuss with you in advance the cost of mediation together with the next steps before you decide to proceed. The cost is usually split between both parties.

Our mediator is there to help you narrow the issues in dispute between you and to a point where it makes sense for both of you to agree on a way forward or a solution. The mediator will work with you both, to help find ways of reaching an outcome that you both consider will work.

Around 70% – 80% of cases settle during the mediation process and of those that do not settle, the majority of them will shortly afterwards. Family mediation therefore has an extremely high success rate. It allows you both to negotiate on your financial settlement and/or issues to do with the children.

Family mediation can work at any time. Sometimes, couples will want to try mediation right at the start before they start court proceedings. Equally, sometimes there are existing court proceedings but mediation is recommended with a view to help the couple resolve their differences and to end the family court’s involvement.

It is crucial that you feel safe both before, during and after mediation. Our mediator is sensitive to these issues, the different dynamics within relationships to include issues of domestic abuse and power imbalances. This will also form part of the screening process in terms of whether or not your case is suitable for family mediation in the first place. Our mediator will follow strict safety procedures to ensure that everyone is safe and secure during mediation. It is also possible to mediate by video so that you and your partner do not need to be psychically in the same place for the family mediation session.

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