Sarah French, Partner in the family team explains what family mediation is, how the process works and if it is for you.
What is mediation?
The most common question I get asked is about understanding what mediation is and if it is for me.
Mediation can be used to discuss the arrangements or issues relating to your children, to deal with your finances alongside your separation or divorce, or both. It is a flexible bespoke process in which you make the decisions between the two of you rather than any decision being imposed on you both, which is the risk in court proceedings.
How does mediation work – the process
On any separation or divorce it is normal for there to be heightened emotions. My role as a mediator is to help guide couples through a process where they can sit round the table, usually in the same room, to discuss things in a civil and constructive fashion. Even though ordinarily only the couple are actually involved in the mediation process, it is important to be mindful of the wider family, especially any children, who are affected by the divorce or separation. If the couple are able to come up with their own decisions in mediation they are much more likely take ownership of and follow through with what they have decided.
If they are parents, their future co-parenting relationship is more likely to benefit their children if they are able to resolve things in a constructive fashion. The research tells us that the parental conflict upon divorce or separation is very harmful to children and so it is important to try to find a way through any disputes which puts the children’s welfare first and ensures effective future co-parenting.
Is mediation for me?
Overall mediation as an option is usually much more cost effective and constructive than, for example, going to court. If you would like any further information about mediation then please do not hesitate to make contact.
How can Moore Barlow help me?
At Moore Barlow, we have family law solicitors who can advise you and represent your best interests when you go through a divorce or separation. If you are in the mediation process we can advise you alongside in the background. I can also offer to act for couples as their mediator to help resolve their disputes.
As a family law mediator, I have expertise in helping couples to resolve their disputes about their finances and/or children in the aftermath of a divorce or separation. As a family law solicitor, I can advise on what options are available to my clients, including mediation, the collaborative process, arbitration and going to court.
If you would like to arrange an appointment to see me or one of my colleagues, please contact us on 023 8071 8878. Our lawyers are available to discuss any matters with you by phone, email and video conferencing to arrange an initial fixed fee appointment. If you would like to meet in person, mediation is available at all our offices in Southampton, Guilford, Woking, Lymington, Richmond and the City of London.