What is family mediation?
Family mediation in Bucks, Berks, Herts & Middlesex
With January 2022 seeing Family Mediation Week, organised by the Family Mediation Council to raise awareness of mediation and its benefits for couples and their families, we take a look at some of the advantages.
Family mediation can make the difficult process of divorce or separation less contentious and easier to navigate. At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, our team includes experienced and accredited mediators who work with couples to resolve difficult issues without the need for litigation.
How does family mediation work?
When a couple are unable to agree on matters such as finances, arrangements for children and what will happen to property on divorce, a family mediator can work with them to try and find a solution.
The parties will share information relating to the current situation, such as full disclosure of their finances, then meet with the neutral mediator who will help them reach an agreement together over how matters will be dealt with.
What are the benefits of family mediation or divorce mediation?
Mediation is generally much quicker than the litigation process, particularly if the courts have a backlog of cases waiting to be heard, which can frequently happen. It is also a far more cost-effective option. It is more flexible and mediation meetings can be arranged at a time to suit both parties. If you choose to go to court, you will be given a set hearing date to attend and there is a risk it could be postponed at the last minute, leaving you with the expense of instructing lawyers again in the future.
Unlike court, where an order is imposed on those involved, with mediation the outcome is agreed upon by both parties, so you can be sure that you will not have a result that you do not want. You remain in control of the situation and the outcome. Mediation can be used for just one or two issues if you are able to agree on most of the matters to be decided.
Mediation will often help prevent the parties’ relationship from deteriorating and encourage them to work together and communicate effectively. This constructive and non-confrontational approach is particularly important in cases involving children.
Is family mediation legally binding?
While mediation is not in itself legally binding, the agreement that is reached can be put into a consent order and sealed by the court. Once this has been done, the order is legally binding and enforceable.
Is mediation compulsory in divorce?
The courts prefer that parties resolve matters between themselves wherever possible, using mediation if they cannot reach an agreement. Except in matters involving domestic violence, it is compulsory for a couple to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) where the mediation process will be explained to them.
You can choose not to go ahead with mediation if you wish, in which case a MIAM certificate will be issued by the mediator confirming that you have considered the mediation process as required. You are then free to take your case to the court for a ruling.
Contact our family law solicitors about family mediation
At Breakthrough Family Law Solicitors, we are specialist divorce lawyers with a high level of experience in divorce and family mediation.
We inspire trust and confidence in our clients by offering high-quality advice in a clear, straightforward and compassionate manner and working tirelessly to achieve the right result.
By Akash Soni