Chairman and head of our leading Family law team, Brenda Long, highlights Family Mediation Week 2019.
The aim of Family Mediation Week, which begins on 21 January 2019, is to raise awareness of mediation and its benefits for separating families. If you are going through a separation, there are lots of things to consider, for example:
- If you are married, whether you will divorce, who will apply and on what basis.
- If you have children, what the future arrangements will be for them – how they will spend their time and how future decisions will be made.
- How you will sort out your finances – who will get what and what maintenance might be payable.
Mediation is a way of addressing these issues, and any others, without going to court. With the assistance of a trained mediator, your partner and you can discuss with each other and make your own decisions. This is usually done in three to five sessions, each lasting an hour and a half, although this varies depending on complexity. The mediator acts as an impartial facilitator to help you have constructive discussions, to understand each other’s view point and to reach agreements which you have decided on.
It is recommended that you have a solicitor alongside the process, to advise you on what you are discussing and to formalise any agreement you reach in mediation.
All discussions are confidential between the two of you and the mediator and cannot be relied on in court if you are unable to reach an agreement. This frees you up to explore all the options without prejudicing you if court proceedings are unavoidable. Even if mediation is not successful in helping you resolve everything, it can often reduce the number of issues which a court might need to address.
Mediation puts you in control of the process, can help to improve future communications and creates agreements which stand the test of time. Mediation has many benefits - it is far quicker and cheaper than going to court, it is flexible and can be adapted to you, and it helps to minimise acrimony, which is particularly important where there are children.”
Blandy & Blandy LLP’s Family law team is top ranked in both of the UK's leading guides to law firms, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, and features four trained mediators.
For further information or legal advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0118 951 6800.
This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.