We are family mediation experts. If you want to avoid court and are looking for a way to resolve your family dispute without using solicitors or going to court, then family mediation may be just what you are looking for.
Family mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It is a way of resolving disputes out of court with the help of a mediator. You and your partner meet together with the mediator for mediation sessions which generally last between 1-2 hours. How many sessions you need depends upon you and the nature of your dispute. Family mediation helps couples to reach agreements about their children and their finances. It can be used for one issue or many issues.
The mediator’s role is to be independent and impartial. The mediator is not there to tell you what to do or give you legal advice or relationship counselling. The mediator acts as a guide, creating the environment which allows you to talk openly and honestly about your problems to try and reach an agreement. There are lots of different kinds of mediators but we think solicitor mediators are the best. As solicitors mediators we bring our legal knowledge and skills to family mediation and although we cannot give you legal advice we can help you to understand the relationship between mediation and the legal process.
The negotiations which take place in family mediation are privileged and confidential. This means that they cannot be used against you in court proceedings. You are not bound by any agreement reached in mediation until you have taken legal advice on it and the agreement has been drawn up as a court order.
You may be concerned about sitting in the same room as your former partner. This need not be a problem as family mediation can take place when the couple are sitting in separate rooms. Your solicitor can also attend the mediation with you although he or she would not be able to sit in on the negotiations. Rather your solicitor would be on hand to give advice as and when required particularly in relation to any offers made or agreements reached. Even if your solicitor does not attend the mediation it is always useful to have a solicitor so that you can take advice when necessary.
If you reach an agreement in mediation the mediator draws up a document which is sent to your solicitor so that your solicitor can give you advice and if appropriate draw up a court order. If you can’t reach an agreement, you can still go to court. Remember, the negotiations which take place in mediation are confidential and cannot be used in any court proceedings.
The cost of family mediation is shared equally between you and family mediation is usually quicker, less stressful and cheaper than going to court.
Perhaps you feel that family mediation really isn’t going to work for you and you want to make an application to the court. You will still need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a mediator to obtain a form FM1. You need this form to make most applications to the court in relation to your marriage or your children.
We offer family mediation on all issues. Call Nadia Beckett today for more information. Nadia is a Resolution trained family mediator and follows Resolutions code of conduct in all family disputes.