Family Mediation Week 22 January to 26 January 2024 – The benefits of Mediation
Earlier this week, our blog talked about what the mediation process looks like. Now we are part way through a brilliant Family Mediation Week, this blog is all about the benefits mediation has to offer!
What are the benefits of Family Mediation?
There are lots of benefits of family mediation and some of the main ones include:
• Cost – the cost of attending mediation is significantly cheaper than the legal costs (solicitor/barrister costs) of Court proceedings.
• Less stressful – often, people find mediation significantly less stressful than going to Court. The mediator uses their professional skills to help the separated couple discuss, try to find solutions and work out children and/or financial arrangements.
• Speed – mediation sessions can be arranged swiftly and around timescales that work for the separated couple. In contrast, depending on the Court’s availability, there may be a delay between making an application to Court and a first hearing being listed and if more than one hearing is required in Court proceedings, there may also be months of time between hearings too.
• Flexible and tailor made – the mediator and separated couple will set an agenda for discussion at each joint meeting and mediation sessions will be arranged flexibly and around timescales that work for the separated couple.
• Focus on what is important – the separated couple can take the time they need to prioritise discussing what is most important to them in their circumstances at that particular time. This is in contrast to Court proceedings where the Court may only have a limited amount of time to consider the case, may not have time to consider all of the matters important to the separated couple and where due to other cases, there may be delays in the case being listed for a hearing.
• Work around busy lives/schedules – 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 when/where hearings may be listed.
• Mediation can be used to narrow issues – even if not used to resolve all matters, mediation can be an extremely useful way to narrow disagreements. This can save time, stress and cost as the mattes to be resolved outside of mediation have been identified and reduced.
• Mediation can involve other professionals if needed – other professionals and experts can be involved as part of the mediation process. For example, in financial matters, mediation may work alongside a property valuation expert, pensions expert, independent financial advisor, accountant etc. In children matters, appropriate experts may be identified as part of the mediation process to help and support the separated couple and children, such as a family therapist, family consultant, counsellor etc. As such, mediation is suitable for many different matters, including complex ones.
• Mediation can be used to deal with matters that may not be suitable for Court or solicitor correspondence – individuals in mediation can use it to discuss whatever is 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 etc. These important matters 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.
• Communication – 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 – in particular for separated parents (and in turn, their children) who are going to have a parenting relationship moving forwards.
• The mediator is there to help both people – the mediator is neutral and impartial, acting in an even-handed way. The mediator is there to help them explore options with a view to reaching an outcome that both participants consider works for them.
• Choice – attending mediation is voluntary and a choice – one person cannot make the other person take part in mediation.
• Informative – the mediator can provide legal and other information (but not legal advice) on an even handed and general basis, to assist the people in the mediation process when discussing matters and working towards their own decisions, as part of the mediation process. This can be very helpful as part of the discussions.
• Control – The choices and decisions at mediation are made by the separated couple and not by the Court. The mediator will not tell the individuals what to do and will not make decisions for them. The mediator will use their professional skills and work hard to help the separated couple discuss matters and reach solutions and proposals.
How do I get in touch if I have more questions about mediation and think it might be suitable for me?
Honor Giles is the Mediator at Maguire Family Law. In addition to her role as Mediator, Honor also works as a Solicitor and is a Partner in the team. Honor’s significant experience in family law, in both children and financial matters, is invaluable when helping separating couples in Mediation. If you wish to find out more about mediation and how it could help you, please do not hesitate to contact Honor Giles on 01565 743 302 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: email@example.com or telephone: