You might not have heard the word mediation before or even that a mediator can help people who have decided to separate or divorce. A specially trained mediator can use various techniques to encourage communication and co-operation between couples, helping them sort out arrangements in order for them to move forward. In the majority of situations problems can often be sorted out when people talk – after all you are still a family  just in a different shape.

Why Mediation?

When couples separate it can be one of the most difficult times in their lives. It’s hard to know what to do to sort everything out – the relationship, children and the finances. Mediation is a process which can help you and families through a separation, using a mediator who goes at their pace; minimising costs throughout a separation.

Advantages of Mediation

Couples that go through mediation can find the process of separation less stressful and emotional, as many find it easier to articulate their feelings to an independent third party, who has no bias or attachment to personal situations. There are many other benefits of mediation including:

  • You make decisions  about your future, not the court;
  • A mediator will be able to give you some impartial guidance on the options that would be approved by the court and you can then both decide on the way forward;
  • You pay for one mediator instead of two lawyers;
  • After the mediation process you should be able to communicate for future decisions that need to be made, which is especially important if you have young children;
  • The mediation process is less stressful than court and involves less conflict;
  • If appropriate your children can be included in the mediation process, as their impression of how you are dealing with the separation can be extremely helpful;
  • The mediation meetings can take place at times that suit you;

How Does Mediation Work?

Usually one of the couple will contact a mediator who will then speak to both of you to find out if this is the right time for you both to attend mediation and if so what you would like to discuss during the mediation meetings. At the start of the meeting you decide the priority of the issues to be discussed, the mediator is there to keep you focused on where you want to get to and provide guidance on your options. Alongside the mediator you talk through the various options and then after discussing how each option could work in reality, you establish the options that work for you. You can then put in place the arrangements and at a later date review and change if required.

What Mediation Doesn’t Do?

Mediation is not designed to reconcile couples, it’s a process that provides a forum to allow you to create solutions tailored to your needs and those of your children during and after a separation.

For more information about mediation and how it can help you personally please contact us.

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