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Insights // 18 January 2021

What is Family Mediation Week?

Partner Claire Dyer, in our leading Family Law team, explains Resolution's Family Mediation Week, which runs until 22 January.

Resolution’s Family Mediation Week runs this week, from 18 to 22 January 2021, with the aim of raising awareness of family mediation and how it can help separating families resolve their disputes constructively. Resolution is the family lawyers’ organisation which supports settling family disputes in a non-confrontational way.

Blandy & Blandy will be joining the campaign, by providing resources and information to:

  • explain what family meditation is
  • help separating couples decide whether mediation is for them
  • discuss the benefits of family mediation
  • Connect separating couples with mediation professionals

What is family mediation?

In mediation, the couple will meet with an impartial and specially trained family mediator or co-mediator to explain what needs to be settled, to explore the options available and consider ways of reaching agreement without going to court. The mediator acts as an impartial facilitator to help participants narrow the issues in dispute between them and hold constructive and focused discussions. The mediator helps each party to understand the other’s view point and to work towards mutually acceptable outcomes for them and for any children.

All discussions are confidential between the parties and mediator can’t be brought forward into any subsequent court proceedings. Even if you try mediation and only reach resolution on some issues, this can reduce the number of outstanding issues which a court might need to address.

When could you try family mediation?

  • - Married couples can discuss whether to divorce, and discuss how to manage the process
  • - Married couples can use the mediation process to resolve their finances on divorce
  • - Unmarried couples can discuss property or child-related arrangements on separation
  • - Parents can discuss how they will spend their time and how future decisions affecting their children will be made
  • - Other disputes in family law may also be suitable for mediation

Key benefits of family mediation

It is far quicker and cheaper than going to court, it is flexible according to your timetable as to how many sessions are needed and when they are held. It is also far less stressful for most people than attending court hearings. The outcome of discussions is in your hands; rather than being left to a judge or arbitrator to decide. This has positive implications for both parties sticking to the settlement in future. The tone of the process as well as the skill of a professional mediator helps to minimise hostility and build communication channels for the future, which is particularly important where there are children involved.

Some family mediators that are specially trained to meet with children and young people, as well as with parents. This offers the children an opportunity to express their own views and wishes so that they can be considered in the arrangements.

Blandy & Blandy’s role

Blandy & Blandy offers professional mediation services as well as advice alongside mediation.

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.

Blandy & Blandy’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 trained mediators.

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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