Family Mediation

The breakup of a relationship is never easy. 

Family Mediation

The breakup of a relationship is never easy. As well as the practical elements that must be sorted, there is also considerable emotional factors to consider.

With so much pressure being put on an already very stressful situation, it is small wonder that so many people find the process difficult to navigate.

Whether couples are married, unmarried, cohabitating, same-sex couples, mediation is worth considering. And, it can also help with disputes within families.

So How Does Family Mediation Work?

As with all forms of mediation, it is voluntary, confidential, and non-judgemental process.

Voluntary – no-one should be forced to attend mediation as this would negate the voluntary nature of the process. And, it is its voluntary nature that makes mediation so successful.

Anyone who feels forced into doing something that they do not want to do will resent that situation and will not approach it with an open mind.

Because mediation is voluntary, it allows people to be open and make up their own mind as to whether they want to participate in the process. And, it is quite common for people to be nervous, anxious, reluctant, and even mildly hostile when they attend their first session. And, generally, at the end of the first session, they are glad they came.

However, if they are not comfortable with the process, a person can withdraw from the mediation at any stage and for whatever reason.

Confidential – anything that is said during mediation or any written notes made during mediation are confidential and cannot be used in any parallel or subsequent proceedings. Nor can the mediator be called to give evidence in any other court or tribunal by one party against the other.

There are a few exceptions to the confidentiality rule under the Mediation Act 2017, such as where there is a threat or danger to life or criminal activity is revealed and these will be fully explained to clients in an Agreement to Mediate.

Non-Judgemental – Mediation is not concerned with apportioning blaming. Its primary focus is to give parties the space and time they need to work out what is best for them and those around them in their new reality.

A FREE No Obligation Quote

Avail of our FREE no obligation quote service  just complete a few general questions and we will send you a FREE No Obligation Quote

The Process

With the assistance of the mediator, the parties can sit down together in a safe environment and discuss how they would like to move forward.

And allowing the couple to decide what “moving forward” means for them is important. Each family is different and therefore giving them the power to decide what works best for them and their children and even extended family can be very useful in determining what the future is going to look like.

For most couples, mediation takes between four to six sessions during which all issues are discussed. The most typical matters that come up for consideration are:

·       Property

·       Finances

·       Maintenance

·       Children and parenting

·       Extended family

·       Other matters of importance

Even if all the issues cannot be agreed upon, mediation can help reduce the number of points of disagreement between couples, thereby making litigation an easier and shorter process.

At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator will draw up a mediation agreement that covers all matters or matters that were agreed upon and this can be converted into a legal document.

This agreement can be very comprehensive or simply include matters that were agreed upon, allowing parties to refer items that were not agreed upon to the court system.

The agreement can take a permanent form, or it can be what is called an interim agreement, whereby parties make an agreement for a specific time frame.

For example, interim agreements are often used whereby parties agree a course of action until a property is sold. Or, it could be that parties agree to a particular schedule until a child finishes primary or secondary school. There are several situations where interim agreements can be used to help couples’ transition from one circumstance to another.

In addition, mediation is generally less expensive and more expedient than the court process. Many separating couples find that mediation really helps them – as it empowers them to take control and make decisions and work out mutually acceptable arrangements about their future rather than handing that power to a judge.

Finally, it is important to note that mediation is not an either or alternative to litigation. There is absolutely nothing to prevent a person from getting legal advice or initiating proceedings in court as these can be paused to allow for mediation.

The advice I give to clients is:

  • Get legal advice
  • Get financial advice
  • Get any other advice you think necessary
  • Get an estimate of costs – ask how much each process will cost and how long will it take
  • Get an estimate of costs from a mediator and ask how long the process will take

In addition, to this information there are many articles about mediation online and while this was written in 2016, it is nonetheless very useful in describing the benefits of mediation.

A FREE No Obligation Quote

Avail of our FREE no obligation quote service  just complete a few general questions and we will send you a FREE No Obligation Quote

Workplace Mediation

Mediation has become an indispensable tool in dealing with workplace disputes.  Without intervention, conflict can be very costly, very time consuming and potentially damaging. Mediation offers the chance to seek resolution in an informal and confidential manner by focusing on finding solutions in each individual case.

Elder Mediation

Elder Mediation is future planning for all the family, while putting the elder person(s) to the fore of the conversation. Talking about aging is never easy but having that conversation with the help of a trained mediator reduces uncertainty, confusion, tension and importantly, reduces the potential for family fallouts or disputes.

Family Mediation

The breakup of a relationship is never easy, and it is understandably a process that many people find difficult to navigate. Every situation is unique and, regardless of whether parties are married,  cohabitating, or heterosexual or same-sex couples, mediation is worth considering as it allows people to focus on finding the best solution to their own situation. 

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway