Mediation, the Effective Way to
Resolve Disputes


Mediation is a way of helping people to resolve disputes together.

Couples attend a meeting or series of meetings with the mediator to discuss the difficulties they face and to look to resolve them. Meetings can involve other members of the family, such as children and grandparents, if it is felt that their inclusion could help.

Couples use mediation in many ways – to agree how to separate, how to divorce, to agree arrangements for children, to agree a single issue within a negotiation such as the sale of a family home, to consider tax issues or the variation of a maintenance order or the 'complete package’ covering divorce, children and financial arrangements.

The mediator is an independent and impartial professional who facilitates and guides discussions, provides direction and ideas, records outcomes and tests the vaiability of possible agreements.  The mediator can inform you about the law and the court's approach to certain matters but will not advise you as to outcome or make decisions on your behalf.  

Your mediator also cannot draft the documents that would be put before the court as that responsibility, together with final advice as to appropriateness of the agreement you have reached, remains the responsibility of your solicitor.  That said, a good mediator will have already explored any pitfalls in your agreement and so the advice you receive should not come as any surprise. 

Individuals can take legal advice before, after or alongside mediation as they, or the mediator, feels necessary.

I believe that mediation is an extemely good forum for resolving family law difficulties as matters can be dealt with direct as between the parties and the underlying reasons for apparent disputes determined and resolved.   Correpondence cannot take the place of direct discussion in many instances and a single mediation meeting can resolve issues that could occupy solicitors correspondence for months.  

Mediation can be hard work and tiring but the results can make every minute worth the effort and dramatically reduce the time and cost of resolving difficulties.

Mediation may not be suitable for everyone but it is always worth considering.



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