Family Mediation Week

Jan 22, 2024

It’s Family Mediation Week.

This time every year the campaign aims to raise awareness of the positive impact mediation can have on families that are struggling to resolve issues. In particular, mediation offers an excellent alternative to court proceedings where separated couples need to establish terms on which they’ll move on with their lives.

Having a judge decide how assets should be divided, or the contact arrangements for children, is sometimes the only way for an outcome to be reached. For many, the court remains vital to the process of untying their marriage. However, where two people are able to put their own arrangements in place (either by themselves, with their lawyers, or with the help of a mediator), this is usually a better way to go; they’re in control of decisions, and working together towards an agreed outcome can be a constructive process.

Mediation isn’t without its challenges. It requires a great deal of talking and exploration into finances and other assets. There will be things you and your ex-partner disagree on, and you mightn’t see a way around those but mediators are trained to facilitate resolution. They’ll help each of you understand what needs to be decided and how to get there. The mediator is impartial and won’t give legal advice. They are there to guide discussions towards as amicable a resolution as possible.

That is one of the key benefits of mediation; it aims to reduce the tension and hostility that often features in court-led resolution. Mediation is less about ‘sides’. The focus really is on collaboration and looking to the future.

For some former couples, mediation will seem impossible because of the circumstances around their relationship and its breakdown. It isn’t workable in situations in which there has been domestic violence, or where there is otherwise no prospect of two people communicating in the way mediation requires. (Those cases may be resolved at court.) However where both people are willing to enter into mediation as a way of designing the terms of their divorce, our advice is to try it. It could be your route to a quicker, less expensive resolution – and one that hasn’t fuelled further conflict.

To speak to us about separation, divorce or civil partnership dissolution, contact our team on family@bsandi.co.uk or call on 01264 353411.  


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