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Blandy & Blandy Solicitors

Insights // 22 January 2024

Blandy & Blandy’s Family Team - Proud to be supporting National Family Mediation Week

Partner Claire Dyer, head of our leading Family Law team, highlights Family Mediation Week.

Family Mediation Week, promoted by the Family Mediation Council, takes place in January each year. Family practitioners focus on the benefits of mediation and how we can support our clients using this process. I am proud to work in a team with several trained mediators and lawyers who genuinely appreciate the benefits of this process in the right case. We take our role as mediators seriously and appreciate the importance of finding a professional with whom you and your ex-partner/co-parent can work constructively.

We will be taking part in various mediation themed activities, including face to face training with other mediators about the power of language in mediation and listening to discussions about the future of mediation with a focus on forthcoming changes to the court/family justice system to try to further encourage this process.

How can Mediation help you?

Family mediation is a process where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex-partner/co-parent to work together and make decisions in relation to your divorce/finances and/or arrangements for your child(ren) without the need for acrimonious solicitors’ correspondence or court proceedings.

There are several different types of mediation to cater to the different dynamics between separating couples/co-parents and the issues to resolve. Most mediators can accommodate both in person and remote mediation sessions.

Traditional Mediation is when a mediator will meet with both you and your ex/co-parent in the same room (face to face or remotely) to help you discuss areas of disagreement and reach decisions together. A mediator can provide you with information but cannot give any legal advice. We also recommend seeking specialist advice from a family lawyer in between your mediation sessions to ensure you understand the legal implications of what is being discussed. Your lawyer can then help you to convert your agreement into a legally binding document.

Shuttle Mediation is similar to ‘traditional mediation’, however you and your ex/co-parent will be in separate rooms and the mediator will ‘shuttle’ between you to relay what each of you have to say. Shuttle mediation can be helpful in circumstances where you do not feel comfortable being in the same room as one another. Shuttle mediation is used for many reasons but most commonly where there has been domestic abuse.

Hybrid Mediation allows you to bring your lawyers into the mediation sessions. Having your lawyer in a mediation session means that they can provide you with legal advice on the issues as they are being discussed. 

Child Inclusive Mediation allows your child(ren) to be involved with the discussions and decision making during the mediation sessions if it is appropriate to do so, which will depend on their age and level of maturity. Including your child(ren) helps to ensure that their best interests are at the forefront of the decision making and allows them to express their wishes and feelings.

The benefits

Mediation is a voluntary process. In the right case, it will help you and your ex-partner/co-parent retain control over the decisions that will impact you and your family. The benefits of mediation include:

  • Being able to talk frankly and openly with your ex/co-parent to discuss issues which are important to you.
  • It is often quicker and much cheaper than instructing lawyers to correspond back and forth, or engaging in expensive court proceedings. The cost of the mediator is usually shared between you.
  • A quicker process often means it will be less stressful and emotionally draining, and it will allow you to move onto the next stage of your life.
  • It can be an effective way to ‘reality test’ your proposals and talk through the logistics to try and understand the other person’s perspective and come to a mutual agreement.
  • Particularly where you hope to co-parent effectively in the future, mediation can continue to support good communication between you. If relations are difficult, it can be a stepping-stone to improving the way you communicate, perhaps alongside other therapeutic support.

Our specialist Family Law team can provide helpful and understanding advice on all aspects of Family Law.

For further information or legal advice, please contact law@blandy.co.uk 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.

Claire Dyer

Claire Dyer

Partner, Family Law

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