What is Family Mediation?

What is family mediation?

  • It is a way of helping families reach decisions about what should happen after separation or divorce
  • It gives couples a safe place to resolve their differences at their own pace
  • It is an alternative to the more traditional legal approach of instructing lawyers or going to court
  • It gives couples the chance to speak directly to each other and explain their concerns and needs in the presence of a professional mediator
  • It recognises that parents are the experts about what is best for their own children
  • It leaves the decision – making to the family and not to an outsider

Family mediation has 4 principles:

  • It is voluntary – courts expect families to attempt mediation before litigation begins but no-one can be forced to mediate
  • It is a confidential process (with some very limited exceptions) and proposals put forward in mediation cannot be referred to in legal proceedings
  • The mediator is impartial – mediators do not take sides. They also do not give legal advice but give the couple lots of information
  • The clients are in charge of their own destiny – mediators are merely there to help facilitate couples reach their own agreement. Any agreement reached only becomes legally binding once it has been made into a Consent Order by solicitors and stamped by the court.