MEDIATION FOR FAMILIES

When a family part and separate it's a very challenging and testing time for all concerned. Mediation helps with the strong emotions not only with the couple concerned but also their children and extended family. Focusing on the children can mean major involvement with grandparents and other family members, so anyone can look to mediation to assist in a difference of opinion or dispute.

FAMILY MEDIATION EXPLAINED

What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex to work out an agreement about issues such as:

Arrangements for children after you break up (sometimes called custody, residence or contact)

Child maintenance payments

Finances (for example, what to do with your house, savings, pension, debts)

It can also be used to help with the other issues you might face, for example, your children keeping in touch with their grandparents, step families, or in-laws. Mediation can also be helpful when arrangements you’ve made before need to change, particularly as your children grow up.

If you go to court to sort out your issues, the judge will make the decisions. You will need to stick to these decisions even if one or both of you feel unhappy about them.

Mediation can help you stay in control. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and explain how you can make an agreement legally binding.

A judge will expect you to have considered mediation before you apply to a court to hear your case. They can refuse to hear your case until you have done this.

Most people who start mediation will reach agreement without having to go to court to settle issues in dispute.

If you need formally to end a marriage or civil partnership, you will need to apply to the court to do this, but you will not usually have to attend a hearing.