What is Family Mediation
Family Mediation is a service that helps couples deal with any or all of the questions relating to their separation or divorce in a thoughtful and co-operative way.
Why use Family Mediation?
If you and your partner are facing separation or divorce you will want arrangements for the future to be both fair and workable. In all cases, but particularly if children are involved, it is important the agreement is reached with the minimum of conflict or distress.
Family mediation helps couples take control of their situation and work things out together in an open and co-operative atmosphere. Mediation can help you reach a lasting settlement which is fair to both parties – whilst at the same time avoiding high legal costs.
To learn more about what Family Mediation is and how it could benefit you, please click on the following link:
What We Do
We normally use two methods by which family lawyers are now resolving family disputes whether relating to the arrangements for children or financial circumstances.
The first approach is mediation.
Mediation is a professional option whereby both sides engage with an entirely independent person who will help to clarify the issues that exist. The mediator will help the couple work through all the options to find a way forward that would then be recorded in a Memorandum of their understanding of how the problem can be resolved.
Mediation is not restricted to the more human aspects of arranging the children’s care. It is also a very good forum within which to address how a couple’s financial assets and income.
Well, if I went to mediation what happens?
One of the hugely beneficial aspects of mediation is that after, possibly, many years of a relationship, you, the couple, involved are determining the future of what you have created, whether that creation is your child or your financial asset base and income from your careers. Mediation gives you both the opportunity to reach a solution that you both buy into wholeheartedly. This very often means (as many Judges already know) that if you reach a solution by consent it stands a much better chance of actually being complied with in every way and to your benefit.
An alternative approach is to collaborate.
…or, to put it another way, work together. Collaborative law – as a style of resolving the problem – has been described is another alternative method of resolving disputes. The couple involved and their family lawyers collaborate together to agree to not go to court.
What is the benefit of this?
Professional advice can be very expensive. If one professional advises by agreement, both sides immediately save 50% of the overall cost to the couple concerned. The significant point to note is that it is the couple are working together with their lawyers to resolve the problem. They really are collaborating. Normally a collaborative law contract entered into at the beginning of this process by both the couple and their lawyers would mean that the lawyers would not take the case forward, if collaborative law broke down, by representing their clients before a court.
How It Works
A trained Mediator assists you and your partner (or former partner), to discuss and resolve any issues connected with separation or divorce. These may include:
- Care of and contact with children
- Financial support
Mediators do not take sides or make the decisions for you. They help you gather all the relevant information, to consider the options open to you and to agree on mutually acceptable solutions.
Mediation is designed to ease the process of separation or divorce. It is not a marriage guidance service. If you and your partner wish to consider the possibility of staying together, or if you would like personal counselling we can provide you with details of relevant counselling services.
Who are the Mediators?
Our Mediators are highly qualified, experienced lawyers or professionals who specialise in family work and have also been trained in mediation. During meetings they make sure that certain ground rules are respected, thus allowing discussions to be as balanced and productive as possible. In some cases there will be two mediators.
Do we still need Solicitors?
Mediators do not give legal advice. For your own protection it is recommended that you consult solicitors over the terms of any proposed settlement. However, mediation reduces the time and costs of going to two separate solicitors and asking them to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. It is much less costly and upsetting than fighting in court.
How To Apply
If you and your partner are interested in family mediation contact us at our offices 28-30 Hyde Gardens, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4PX Telephone number 01323 434415 for further information or to arrange an appointment.If your partner is reluctant to try mediation you could suggest a single exploratory meeting.
Remember, the aim of mediation is to help you reduce the stress and expense involved in separation – and it works for the benefit of both parties and their children.