Family Mediation – Right for your family?
Family mediation is a modern alternative to court proceedings. It can help you to reach agreement on issues relating to divorce, separation, finances or the care of children.
Family mediation gives you the chance to remain in control of the decisions affecting your family. Most couples prefer this rather than ask a judge, who is a stranger to them, to make those decisions for them.
In family mediation, you can take account of all your family’s needs, concerns and interests, in a way that is difficult when responsibility is handed over to lawyers or to the court.
Family mediation is a confidential and voluntary process. The pace of the process can be made to fit in with the needs of your situation.
The family mediator is an impartial third party, often with legal knowledge, who will manage the process and help you to find solutions that work for your family.
The family mediator is trained to ensure that you are kept safe and free from bullying or manipulation whilst mediating and are able to exercise free choice.
The family mediator can provide information about the law, but cannot provide partisan advice - the sort that says 'I think it would be in your best interests to ...'
When mediation concerns arrangements for children, the mediator has a responsibility for making sure that parents focus on what is right for the children rather than what would be in the interests of the parents.
The cost of family mediation, even when the additional cost of independent legal advice is taken into account, is significantly lower than traditional solicitor led negotiations. By choosing family mediation, you can expect to make substantial savings, leaving more resources to meet the needs of your family.
Family mediation can also help you to limit the emotional harm for you and your children of the separation process, as you and your partner work together to plan for your and their future after separation.
Whilst legal aid is not widely available for advice from solicitors, it is there for family mediation. You may also be able to get legal aid for help from a solicitor during the mediation process.
Family mediation is seen by the Government and by the courts as the better choice for many couples. Those applying to the courts are now strictly required in nearly all cases to attend a meeting (MIAM – Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) with an experienced mediator in order to find out more about this process, BEFORE being permitted to make their application to the court. Respondents to applications are also expected to attend a MIAM, and may be directed to do so by the court.
But family mediation is not about couples becoming reconciled – it is not a form of counselling - but it does set out to help them to reconcile differences and reach common choices.
The Worcester Family Mediation Practice is a leading provider of family mediation services. Principal Paul Kemp has been a family mediator since 1990.
Learn about the mediation process
Make an appointment
What does Mediation cost?
The total cost will depend on the issues to be addressed in mediation and the rate at which you are able to make progress. Typically, however, the cost of dealing with issues in mediation is very significantly lower than the cost of traditional ways of resolving family disputes.
Have a look at our mediation blog.