17 – 21 January is Family Mediation Week and the week is all about highlighting and informing individuals all about Family Mediation and how it can help.
Honor Giles is the Mediator within our team at Maguire Family Law. Honor is also an Associate Solicitor in the team and therefore has significant experience of dealing with a wide range of family law matters, to include complex children and financial matters.
As part of Family Law Week, Honor thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight the advantages of Mediation:
Participants in Mediation make decisions that work for them, tailored to their individual circumstances
Individuals in Mediation can take the time they need to carefully consider and discuss proposals (around child arrangements and finances) tailored to them and their family. This is in contrast to Court proceedings, where more general decisions may be made or where a Court may only have a limited amount of time to consider the case.
Mediation is a flexible process and individuals can prioritize what issues are important to them and what issues they wish to discuss at each session. Practically speaking, Mediation sessions are also arranged at a time and place to suit both individuals too. This is in contrast to Court proceedings where the parties are not in control of the Court process and when/where hearings may be listed.
Even if not used to resolve all issues, Mediation can be an extremely useful way to narrow issues in dispute. This can save time, stress and cost as the issues to be resolved outside of Mediation have been identified and reduced.
Mediation can be used to deal with issues that may not be suitable for Court or solicitor correspondence
Individuals in Mediation can use it to discuss whatever issues are important to them. This may involve discussing specific things in relation to children, for example, how individuals would like to parent children post separation, discussing proposals on how to tell children about separation, coming up with proposals on how to introduce new long-term partners to the children in the future etc. These important issues can be discussed in a private, neutral space with the assistance of a Mediator who can help individuals put their children’s welfare at the heart of those discussions.
Mediation facilitates conversation and discussion between the individuals, to assist them in reaching proposals at Mediation so they can move forwards. Mediation promotes communication and this can be extremely beneficial for separated parents (and their children) who are going to have a co-parenting relationship moving forwards a long period of time.
Speed and timescales
Individuals can progress with Mediation sessions as swiftly as they wish. This can speed up reaching proposals to move forwards in comparison to the Court process, where individuals may wait many months between hearings. If individuals narrow disputed issues at Mediation, this can then speed up the process they use to resolve the outstanding issues, as those issues will be narrowed and reduced.
What does Mediation cost?
Mediation can be significantly cheaper than Court proceedings and the individuals are more in control of the costs, deciding on how many sessions they would like to attend. This is in comparison to Court proceedings, where individuals will be ordered to prepare documents for hearings and attend hearings.
To find out more about Mediation and how it might be able to help – please read our blog ‘What is family mediation and how can it help me?’. Please also do not hesitate to contact our Mediator, Honor Giles – firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial chat about Mediation and what it entails.