The most commonly asked questions explained. Read on to find out more.
Family mediation is a voluntary, confidential process in which an impartial mediator helps families resolve disputes. This process allows family members to talk about their conflicts and disagreements in a safe, collaborative environment. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the family members; instead, they help the parties better understand each other’s perspectives and interests so that they can develop their own solutions to their issues. Mediation is focused on helping people work out agreements that serve everyone’s best interests without court proceedings. It is designed to be cost-effective and timely, allowing families to come together quickly and peacefully to resolve any disputes.
The system is self-referred. To discuss your mediation needs just call us.
We offer pre-mediation advice for just the price of the phone call which will help you decide if mediation is suitable for you.
Most frequent questions and answers
An agreement reached through mediation is not legally binding. It relies on both parties standing by the agreed terms. This does not affect your legal rights. If you prefer, the mediation agreement can be taken to a solicitor to be drawn up as a legal document. Alternatively the case can be put before the judge if mediation does not work for you.
Agreements made voluntarily by both parties tend to reflect the needs of everybody, more so than court orders. Because both parties are involved in drawing up the agreement, both parties are more likely to stick to the result.
Mediators are specially trained to ensure both parties get their full say and are happy with the resulting agreement. They do not take sides, and will not pressure one party to agree to something they are not happy with. If property and financial matters are being discussed, the mediator will recommend each party contact their solicitor for full legal advice before the final agreement is signed.
Usually there is an initial, information gathering meeting between the mediator and each party individually. After this, every meeting needs both yourself and your ex present in addition to the mediator. If you want an additional supporter at any of the meetings, your ex will need to agree to this.
Even if previous attempts at resolution have failed, trained mediators can succeed due to their neutral and professional approach. If your ex fails to turn up, the mediator will write to them to explain the purpose of the mediation.
Sometimes your ex may need an initial meeting by themselves to reassure them of the benefits of mediation.
It is very important that children’s opinions are also heard.
This does not affect the parents rights.
Children are not permitted to attend the mediation sessions, but have a discussion with a specially trained mediator to hear their perspective, and to help them cope with the current problems in their lives.
The child decides what information can be shared back to the parents.
Both parents need to agree to the children’s mediation session.