Family Mediation and how this can help separating families

Family Mediation Week takes place from 22 to 26 January 2024. It is an excellent opportunity for those considering family mediation to understand the benefits it can bring to separating families. Laura Martin – Partner and Head of Family Law - encourages separating couples to think about family mediation as a way of helping them take control, make decisions together and build a positive future for their family.

So what is family mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps separating couples find solutions to issues that arise as a result of divorce or separation. This might include discussions about the children or finances.

  1. It is quicker and cheaper. You can meet with a mediator as soon as you both feel ready to discuss matters. You do not have to wait for any Court process. You share the cost of mediation between you or as you decide but there is no doubt that mediation is far cheaper than Court proceedings.
  2. You are in control of the process and outcome. You decide what is discussed in mediation. You decide how long the meetings will last as well as when, and how often you meet to mediate. You are actively creating your own outcomes that work for best you and your children; a far cry from outcomes being imposed on you by a Judge in Court proceedings.
  3. Discussions are child focussed. It is essential that your children are the centre and primary focus of discussions. Mediation offers flexibility where all options are considered and discussed to achieve an agreement. Mediation gives you and your solicitors the chance to look at the real practicalities of the arrangements, giving you time to review and see what best works for you and your family.
  4. Look forward and not back. Mediation is future focussed with the aim of trying to reach an agreement. Focussing on the past can be difficult, upsetting, and sometimes counterproductive in helping you reach an agreement.
  5. Be willing to listen and compromise. It is not always easy but it is important that you both have the opportunity to speak and be heard. That way you each have the opportunity to express your opinions, desires and fears, as well as explain what you want to achieve and why. Pressure points can be alleviated, and compromises can be identified and explored. The mediator guides the couple to a resolution without bias.

How we can help

The benefits of family mediation cannot be overstated, particularly when considering disputes relating to children. Agreements reached in mediation tend to be more readily adhered to as you are given the opportunity to determine your own outcomes through discussion and negotiation and without the pressures of Court litigation.

Laura Martin is a Law Society Accredited Family Mediator who is highly skilled at exploring creative options, considering the unique needs and circumstances of each family, and encourages understanding to reach agreements that benefit the entire family.

If you would like to speak to Laura about your situation or discuss mediation as a possible route for you, please contact Our Family Law team on 01258 459361 or visit our Family Law page.

Blanchards Bailey

So, how can we help?

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01258 459361