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Insights // 22 January 2021

Family Mediation Week – What Have We Learned?

It is the end of Family Mediation Week – what have we learned? Tasha Bevan-Stewart, a partner in our leading Family Law team, looks back on the content of this week’s activities.

All around the country this week, family lawyers and professionals have been engaged in lively discussions and group presentations to promote family mediation. Clients and professionals have explored topics such as:

  • How mediation has been working for clients in lockdown via remote platforms
  • How to bring other professionals such as counsellors and financial advisers into mediation
  • The ‘hybrid’ model of mediation involving lawyers within the mediation process
  • Referrals to arbitration instead of Court if all points can’t be agreed in mediation
  • Diverting more cases to mediation instead of Court

A key theme this week has been recognising the overloaded state of our courtrooms up and down the country. Judges are increasingly encouraging parties to engage with out of court settlement processes, in order to free up court time for the most urgent cases. 

Family Court rules allow parties to pause or ‘step out’ of litigation to try and settle their dispute using a family mediator. The final agreement reached via mediation can be approved by a judge even if your case is active in court, and you can avoid the need for a hearing.

The message from the judiciary is clear: try any means possible before coming to court to sort out your family legal dispute. There are professionals available to help you use mediation and other methods which will keep legal costs lower and sort out your dispute much more quickly than coming to Court.

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.

Tasha Bevan-Stewart

Tasha Bevan-Stewart

Partner, Family Law

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