If you come across disputes with your spouse while getting divorced, and you would like to resolve the issues outside of court, you might want to consider family mediation.
Family mediation – what does it involve?
Family mediation involves using a specially trained and accredited third party family mediator to help you resolve your issues. You can either find your own mediator or, if you prefer, your divorce solicitor can help you get in touch with one that they recommend. We strongly recommend the use of a jointly qualified family mediator/lawyer in divorce cases.
The role of the family mediator is to act as an impartial observer. They will meet with you and your spouse to listen to your concerns. They will help you identify areas where you are in agreement in order to give you a solid base to work from, as well as helping you to come to an agreement on issues where you disagree.
It is important to note that the mediator does not act as an advisor; if you are in need of legal advice at any point throughout the mediation process, you should speak to your divorce solicitor. The mediator’s goal is to offer support while you and your spouse are working out your differences, not to tell you what they think you should do.
How does family mediation work?
If you decide to contact a family mediator then you will first need to have an assessment. The purpose of this is to make sure both parties are amenable to the idea of using family mediation to resolve their differences. It isn’t always right for everyone, so it is important for the mediator to check that everyone is happy for the process to get underway.
At this assessment meeting, you’ll also have the chance to ask any questions you might have so you feel comfortable with the process. If you decide as a result of the meeting that you would rather take your case to court, you will need to obtain a certificate from the mediator to prove you had the meeting before you can do so.
Depending on the mediator you use, the assessment might take place over the phone or face to face.
Further mediation meetings
If you decide to go ahead with family mediation, meetings will be arranged where you and your spouse can get together to discuss issues in the presence of the mediator. The issues you discuss will depend on your specific case and circumstances. However, they could include:
• Financial arrangements
• Arrangements for the children
• Division of other assets
• Obtaining other professional assistance if necessary
You will probably need to speak to your own solicitor after each meeting to seek further advice on your legal position. Then, when the mediation process comes to an end, the mediator will draw up a document summarising what you have agreed. This is something that you will need to discuss with your divorce solicitor as it is important to get legal advice before you officially agree to the mediation proposals.
If you decide that you are still happy with what has been decided, your solicitor and your spouse’s solicitor will draft a Consent Order – which contains the terms of your agreement and becomes legally binding when approved by the court. Your solicitor will then offer you advice on the implementation of what you have agreed to make sure everything is carried out as it should be.
Contact our Family Mediators today
Like collaborative law, we are committed to family mediation as a sensible way to resolve family law disputes. As a result two of our family lawyers are fully accredited and trained family mediators.
- If you are looking for an experienced and jointly qualified family mediator/lawyer for your divorce, call one of our offices today and ask to speak to one of our Family Mediators.
SALISBURY  422300
AMESBURY  622992
- FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
- Or email our team by filling out the contact form below