22nd – 26th January 2024 is Family Mediation Week so there could not be a better time to be talking all about mediation!
1. First things first – what is Family Mediation?
A very good question! People are often not sure what goes on at mediation or what it entails.
Sometimes people mistakenly think mediation is for couples are who trying to get back together or that it is a form of couple’s counselling. It is neither of these things.
Family mediators are professionally trained to help separated couples discuss and resolve arrangements for financial and/or children matters. The mediator is there to help the separated couple find solutions and make decisions for the future.
2. How does mediation work – what does it look like?
Firstly, there would be an initial meeting with the mediator alone. This is so you can find out more detail about the mediation process, what the alternative options to mediation are and the mediator can answer any questions you may have. At the meeting, the mediator will also ask questions and assess whether the circumstances are suitable for mediation.
After that meeting, if appropriate, the mediator will invite the other person to attend an initial individual meeting with the mediator too.
After the mediator has carried out initial individual meetings with each person, if both people then wish to go ahead with mediation and if mediation is suitable, a joint meeting will be arranged with both people and the mediator.
Depending upon how much there is to discuss at mediation, there may be one joint meeting or several joint meetings.
The mediator is independent and even handed – they do not take sides. At the joint meetings, the mediator uses their professional experience and skills to help the separated couple discuss and work out arrangements for children and financial matters. The aim of the joint session(s) is for the separated couple, with the mediator’s professional help, to reach proposals and solutions that work moving forwards for them.
Sometimes, the separated couple may only use mediation to discuss children matters or may only use mediation to discuss financial matters. Alternatively, the separated couple may wish to use mediation to discuss both children and financial matters.
The mediation process is flexible and can be structured in a tailor-made way, so as to suit the individual circumstances of the separated couple. For example, if the mediator considers appropriate, the separated couple do not have to be in the same room as each other. Mediation can take place by either ‘in person’ meetings or by video meetings.
Keep an eye out for our blog later this week all about the benefits of and advantages of mediation. In the meantime – if you have any questions about mediation, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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 email@example.com
For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: