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What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is a voluntary service to help parents and families in resolving issues that often arise on separation or divorce. Family mediator's help people to enter into open conversation and in making decisions for the future about their family. Mediation helps people focus on issues affecting them both, for example parenting, property and money and what to do about it all now they are separated. Mediators are here to help with the above and will help you. 

What is the process for Family Mediation?

Family mediation usually involves separated or separating people attending a number of either, face to face or virtual meetings. The discussions are facilitated by a trained mediator. There are 6 basic steps to a successful mediation. These are an introduction by each person attending mediation; information gathering; identification of the issues for mediation; having a conversation about the options; Negotiations and finally, settlement.

Our family mediators are aware that communicating after a separation is difficult. So they are skilled at assisting people work through issues they have to deal with. These include emotional, practical, legal, financial and any other issues. Our mediators are skilled at helping when feelings are running high, at a time when cooperation is the last thing somebody expects from their former partner.

What does mediation cover:

The issues considered in family mediation can include:

How the assets will be divided.

What happens to the family home.

Where the children will spend time.

Maintenance payments to be made.

The agenda can be anything that you both agree to discuss and mediate.

Why use Family Mediation?

If you face divorce or separation, and do not know what to do, family mediation really does help. Family mediation will enable you both to consider the arrangements for children, property, finance and other important matters. Family mediation is much faster, less stressful and much cheaper than heading straight to court. Family mediation enables you to consider and put in place long-term solutions that are in your family’s best interests. The process allows families to keep control of their own decisions as opposed to handing it over to courts to make decisions for you both.

Who can use Family Mediation?

Family mediation is open to anybody affected by family breakdown including separation, divorce and dissolution of civil partnership. Mediation is also available to other family members. Grandparents may be having difficulties over contact arrangements, for example. And step-parents can use the process if they would like to assist their new partner.

How can a Mediator help, what do they do?

The mediator’s role is to help you both work towards solutions. To make you aware of the the next stages to then achieve a legal separation. Mediators assist you to gather the information, facilitate the discussions, and help you develop options and solutions. You can think of the mediator as the chair of the meeting, guiding people through their agenda. The mediator ensures each can express and spell out their thoughts, concerns and put forward options / proposal without interruption.

The mediator is there to assist the discussion. The mediator ensures each person has time to put their views across. The mediators role keep the discussions productive and safe.

Expertise and experience

Family mediators do not express a point of view, or make a value judgement. Their expertise and experience allows them to give information to help you understand the legal and financial issues involved. And they can guide you to the best legal solution in your case. Mediators are able to draw on their experience of what other people have done in similar circumstances. They help you look at the pros and cons of any particular course of action.

Making decisions

Decisions made will be recorded in writing by the mediator, and each of you will receive a written summary of these. You will also get any proposals that have yet to be agreed, and any actions that need to follow. It means you don’t need to take notes. Instead you can concentrate on the discussion and create your own solutions for your separated futures.

Our family mediators use a range of skills to help you plan for the future, such as:

Helping you identify the things that you need to discuss.

Managing the agenda in a timely way.

Using questions to help people identify priorities and needs.

Listening to ensure your points are really heard and understood.

Summarising understanding.

Not taking sides, but encouraging self-determination.

Ensuring access to necessary information.

Helping people spell out arrangements to check they will work.

These skills are designed to help you decide for yourself what is best in all the circumstances.