21st January 2022
This Family Mediation Week we are sharing information about mediation and five of the benefits it can offer to your family.
1) CHILD INCLUSIVE
Mediation is child focussed, meaning the views and needs of your children can be acknowledged in a sensitive and appropriate way. These views can be taken into account to develop a parenting plan for your children and the wider family, acknowledging the importance to the children of other family members.
Depending on the age and needs of the child they can speak directly with the mediator to discuss what matters to them. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make a big difference to our children’s happiness and they can be reluctant to tell parents for fear of upsetting them or creating more conflict. The message to children that they are important and loved cannot be given enough when parents are separating or divorcing.
Mediation gives you an opportunity to work together to build a new relationship as separated parents parenting your child together.
2) A QUICKER PROCESS
Working with your ex-partner in mediation is typically between 2 or 3 times quicker than the traditional route to divorce of going through separate solicitors.
We typically find that clients are able to reach an agreement and have their financial orders and divorces filed within 3 months with mediation, as opposed to 6 – 12 months if working separately. Everything is agreed together at the same time instead of going back and forth through separate solicitors waiting for emails and letters to arrive, dealing with misunderstandings as they may arise and working to a timetable to suit you.
Your financial consent order and divorce order will both still have to go through the courts to become official, but you won’t have to ‘go to court’ against each other. The quicker the process the sooner you can both start to move forwards with your lives.
3) A CHEAPER PROCESS
By working together with your ex-partner and a mediator you will not only be making the process quicker, there will be significant cost savings associated with it.
For example: in scenario A you work together with a mediator and the process takes 3 – 6 sessions over a period of 3 months, so you have 3 monthly bills to be paid to 1 professional mediator, with the cost shared between you. In scenario B you each have a separate solicitor and the process takes 12 months, that’s 12 monthly bills to be paid to 2 professionals paid per person. It soon adds up and causes further disruption and financial impact at a time when you are already experiencing a major life change.
Often a financial advisor (who will be impartial) will also work with you in mediation to help you separate your finances and assets in a way that works for both of you and maximises the assets you have.
4) A MORE ACCESSIBLE PROCESS
Working with a mediator is a flexible and accessible process. Meetings can either be held online or face to face.
By discussing everything together you will be allowing less chance for any mis-understandings. We’re not all great communicators, especially when the situation is emotionally charged, so there are many benefits to discussing things together including the opportunity to be properly heard and understood.
Mediation allows you to take responsibility and control for your own destiny and not hand over your life to lawyers and the court.
5) A MORE AMICABLE PROCESS
Mediation is different to marriage counselling but it is common for the two to be confused. They both allow each party to voice their feelings and hopes for the future, and they are both forward focused processes facilitated by a professional. Ultimately though, mediation is a means to formally end a marriage or civil partnership, but in a collaborative way that cuts through the conflict.
When a relationship ends it doesn’t mean the end of the wider relationships that the couple have, be it with children or in-law’s, and there will be an impact on the wider family. Mediation is a way to work together to address the best interests of everyone and part company on good terms, setting a new path for the future where the previous relationship is over but a new, different, one can be established.
For more information about mediation and our Family Law services please click here.