What is family mediation?

What is mediation?

The objective of mediation is to help two people to come to agreement and reach a fair solution following a dispute. Mediation is ideal for helping to resolve disputes within a family, particularly following relationship breakdown, providing a less stressful and less costly alternative to going to court. A mediator is an impartial person who is skilled at making sure that each personís views are heard and relevant information is shared. They will work with you to ensure that informed and fair decisions are made. The mediation process promotes communication and cooperation and consequently reduces conflict, which in turn benefits other members of the family, especially children. Mediation is also confidential to the parties involved.

How can it help in family disputes?

You can use mediation to resolve a wide range of family disputes, including:

  • Practical arrangements following relationship breakdown
  • Arrangements for children or grandchildren including where children should live and time spent with other family members
  • Division of property, capital and pensions
  • Financial support arrangements for each person and any children

The process of mediation encourages you to work together to come to the best solution, without hostility and additional emotional anxiety. This is particularly beneficial if you have children who may otherwise be caught in the middle of conflict. Mediation is much less formal than attending court and can reduce the stress and anxiety caused by court proceedings.

How does mediation work?

If your dispute is suitable for mediation and you both agree that you wish to proceed in this way, then you would book a series of mediation sessions. Each session lasts up to one and a half hours. Your mediator will identify the issues that both parties wish to discuss and an agenda will be set. Each dispute is different and the number of sessions required varies, however many disputes are settled within three to four sessions. If your dispute is about financial arrangements, then you will need to provide details of all your finances in advance of the sessions. You will be asked to complete a detailed form which your mediator will provide.

Recording the agreement

Once you have reached agreement, we will record this for you both. Where financial arrangements have been agreed, you will need to have these checked by your solicitor and they may be converted into a legally binding agreement or a court order if necessary.

What does it cost?

A dispute which is settled in a court typically costs each party a minimum of £3,000 to settle, as each person has to appoint their own lawyer to fight their corner. By choosing mediation to reach an agreement, your costs are shared. Consequently, costs are likely to be significantly less than going to court. Each mediation session is paid for at the time and the only additional cost is for drawing up the final documentation. Call us to confirm the current cost per session. Not only are there financial savings, but you will find that the process is much less stressful than attending court.