Usually family mediation comes into play at a difficult time in your life. It could be that you are in the middle of divorce or separation – and you want to resolve matters without having to go to court. Here we discuss what family mediation is, why it may be suitable for you and who can use it.
article written in conjunction with Burgess Mee Family Law – all opinions are my own.
What is Family Mediation?
Normally, family mediation would involve you going to a face to face meeting in a place that is neutral to both parties. There will be a trained professional mediator there to oversee discussions. They will help guide the discussion enabling you to try and figure out your future plans.
It’s not their job to tell you how the discussion should go, but if they see that it’s perhaps going down a controversial route – they will help to get it back on track, and help you look for alternatives to resolve it. This can include things like custody of children, how finances are split – and other difficult discussions.
The Main Topics of Discussion
The main topics of discussion at family mediation meetings tend to be incredibly important items such as who will remain in the family home, or whether or not it would be sold off. How other assets will be divided between both parties is also normally a big topic, as is where children will spend their time and any maintenance that needs to be agreed. The mediator acts as a sort of chair of the meeting – allowing both parties to express their opinions without interruption from the other party.
Why would you Use it and What are the Benefits?
Divorce and separation is difficult enough, and it could be that you want to avoid the courts but recognise that you and your former do need a little help to resolve certain items amicably.
By using family mediation – it takes much less time than being dragged through the courts, which causes less stress for both parties involved. It’s also usually more cost-effective because of this. Lawyers’ fees can rack up when there are multiple court dates.
At the end of mediation, it is much more likely that you can maintain some form of amicable relationship – and means that the end result is in your control, rather than allowing the courts to decide your fate.
Who Uses Family Mediation?
If you are in the process of a separation, divorce – or you find yourself terminating a civil partnership, then family mediation may be the correct solution for you.
Mediation can also be used by grandparents who are having difficulty in getting access to their grandchildren – or it could be that a new stepparent wants to use this service as a support mechanism to their partner.
Mediation is often the best way forward if you find yourself in a difficult situation where you can’t resolve certain issues on your own – but don’t want to go down the route of the courts.