Local Specialist Family Mediators/Lawyers
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process which helps couple reach agreements in relation to all family matters arising from a relationship breakdown or divorce
How can a Family Mediator help me?
In most divorces, people want to avoid court if at all possible. Mediation has really significant advantages over the traditional court based method of sorting out divorce and relationship breakdown. In particular;
- mediators listen to both to find out what is important to you and your family
- mediators are impartial and will not take sides
- they help you to make your own choices and decisions
- they help you to reach practical solutions which are bespoke to your family and may not be considered by court
- they provide a totally confidential and safe environment
- it is a often very cost-effective solution – see the research below
- mediation provides somewhere to talk through your situation calmly and privately
How does mediation actually work?
Although every mediation is slightly different, here is a rough outline of what you can expect;
- you will each initially attend a separate meeting with the mediator, often called a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting).
- an assessment is then made to make sure that mediation suits your circumstances, because it doesn’t suit everyone – for example where there has been domestic violence or one partner is particularly vulnerable
- you can expect on average between two and five joint meetings with your mediator to come up with a jointly agreed solution to your problems
- you can consult with your own solicitor at any stage during the process – in fact you will be encouraged to take your own legal advice on what is best for you
- you both need to provide information to the mediator about your personal and financial circumstances (if appropriate)
- the mediator will discuss with you both preparation of documentation to put into effect what you have agreed – and then the proposals can then be made legally binding, once you have both taken independent legal advice
To read more about how mediation actually works – click here.
The Benefits of Mediation Are Not Purely Financial
For anyone going through the process of divorce, the family mediation process has a huge number of benefits. In many cases, the benefits are financial. The mediation process can help the parties agree how the finances should be split, but it can also help the divorcing couple avoid the massive legal costs which are associated with taking their divorce to court. However, mediation doesn’t just have financial benefits
What issues can mediation cover?
There is no limit on what you can discuss in mediation. But the family mediation, the most common and successful outcomes are resolving the legal and financial issues that arise out of relationship and marriage breakdown – in particular resolving financial issues, division of family property and assets – and agreeing long-term arrangements for your children.
In fact, if you have recently split up and are finding it difficult to set aside the hurt and anger to make arrangements for the children, then family mediation can be the ideal way to make arrangements quickly and simply.
Grandparents who can’t see their grandchildren because of a relationship breakdown find that mediation often helps them avoid a lot of stress and heartache.
Why choose our Family Mediators?
Some mediators have no legal training. We believe by far that the best family mediators are also experienced family lawyers – because they really understand the details of family law and can make sure you get the right settlement for you and your family.
Family Mediation – the best way of settling family law disputes?
With the encouragement of the Ministry of Justice for couples to use family mediation, there’s been talk that mediation is quicker and cheaper – but what do the statistics really say? The only comprehensive report produced about family mediation in the UK was done by the National Audit Office, in a survey in March 2007. That report found that, on average, a case using family mediation took 110 days to resolve, compared with a staggering 435 days when mediation was not used. And the legal costs of going down the mediation route was less than 45% of the cost of using the traditional court route!
Furthermore the same survey found that more than 95% of cases using family mediation managed to settle within 9 months – and all of them within a year. In contrast just 70% of those cases which did not use mediation managed to settle within 18 months.
Now it is true that that report was based on figures from legal aid divorce (since legal aid is now no longer available in divorce cases except where they involve domestic violence), but our experience, and that of other family mediators nationwide is it works just as well, and with far greater financial savings on legal costs, for clients paying privately.
We have been big fans of both collaborative law and family mediation for some time – for divorce, civil partnership divorce and other family law problems. Our Salisbury family law team includes a jointly qualified family lawyer/mediator. The stats seem to back our view up – the best way of settling many family disputes and divorce cases is indeed family mediation – a quicker and cheaper way of getting divorced.
In summary, the vast majority of cases using family mediation are sorted out satisfactorily well before the court stage – even when it seems that the two parties will never agree on anything.
Is any agreement we reach at mediation legally binding?
Any settlement which is agreed through a process of mediation is not legally binding. It is treated as a suggestion based on the expertise and skills of the mediator. In order to turn it into a legally binding agreement, a solicitor has to draft a consent order and then submit it to the court to be formally approved.
Looking For Family Mediation Advice In Dorset? Contact Us Now
Our mediators can help you both decide what is right for you in resolving matters, rather than having to put up with decisions being ordered by the court.
For more information about our family mediation services;
- Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or our local offices in Salisbury (01722) 422300 or Fordingbridge (01425) 652110OR
- Complete the email enquiry form below.