Many separating couples would like to come to an agreement in relation to their children or financial affairs. They may not, however, be able to discuss the issues constructively between themselves. Mediation (using either one or two mediators) creates the safe neutral space with highly skilled mediators to help you reach an agreement.
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving all the practical difficulties that arise when a relationship ends. It is a voluntary process which the courts actively encourage involving you and your partner meeting together with a neutral mediator or mediators to discuss the options available to you for sorting out your finances, ending your relationship formally and settling disagreements about your children. Because it is confidential from any court process, it enables discussions and concessions that would not be possible in the court process. This means that agreement is much more likely.
Children are not automatically involved in the mediation but the mediators can discuss with you how to talk to your children about the changes that will be happening and help them to understand the changes. It is important that the views of any children are taken into account in issues that directly involve them and at Family Law in Partnership three of our eight mediators are trained to consult with children. These mediators will see children and feed their views (with permission) back into the mediation process.
Mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs)
Since 6 April 2011 everyone wishing to start court proceedings in relation to children or to make a financial claim on divorce (except where certain exemptions apply) is required to first go for a meeting with a mediator to hear about mediation and other out of court options for settlement. The mediator will make an assessment as to whether the case is suitable for mediation. Mediation information and assessment meetings are available at Family Law in Partnership.