What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution designed to help parties negotiate their dispute in a neutral and amicable environment. A trained mediator will guide both parties through the process by facilitating negotiations and suggesting ways forward, but cannot provide legal advice.
Mediation can be useful for many different family situations including child arrangements or financial discussions arising from separation or divorce. The mediation process can be very effective where both parties are working to the same goal but need assistance in finding a solution.
It is a voluntary process but it is entirely confidential which allows for negotiations to take place freely.
How can we support you through mediation?
It is open to both parties to seek their own independent legal advice while mediation is ongoing. A mediator can help you find a workable solution but they cannot advise you on the fairness of any agreement reached. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you take independent legal advice before concluding the terms of any agreement.
We have a team of highly experienced solicitors who will be able to work with you before, during and after mediation. We can advise and support you throughout the process, so that you feel confident going into each mediation session.
Once an agreement has been reached at mediation, the mediator will draw up a document recording the terms of the agreement. However, you may wish for the agreement to be converted into a legally binding document. We can assist you in drafting the mediated agreement into a Court Order, called a Consent Order, and submitting this to the Court for approval. It is only once the agreement has been approved by a Judge that it becomes legally binding.
When mediation fails or is unsuitable
We would stress that although in many cases mediation is helpful and effective, it is not always suitable, particularly where one party is more dominant and tends to control the financial decisions or is less than open and honest about their financial situation. Sometimes, parties simply have very different priorities which makes it difficult to resolve a dispute in mediation.
If mediation is not right for you, we can talk you through alternative ways to resolve your case.
Please do not hesitate to contact us today, on 03331 212345 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and our team will be pleased to work with you and help find a solution for you.