If you and your partner have decided to separate or divorce you may think that there is little more to be said to each other.
However, having an objective conversation about practical matters such as your finances or children, in a neutral setting, can be very helpful.
Mediators are not relationship counsellors. A couple will usually seek mediation once the relationship has broken down – not with a view to getting back together – but to sort out the practicalities of a separation or divorce, without a bitter court battle.
Mediation can help to settle disputes relating to:
- Contact with children and living arrangements
- Child maintenance
- Finance matters including savings and pensions
You and your partner will be asked to attend an initial meeting here at our office. You can choose whether you both wish to attend together or would prefer a separate meeting.
Following this, if you are your partner are both in agreement that you would like to proceed with mediation, we can arrange the next step – a joint meeting.
Our mediator will help to facilitate discussions between you and your partner with the aim of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to you both.
It is important to know that a mediator does not replace your solicitor. You can consult your own solicitor at any time during the mediation process to take their advice on what has been discussed.
Following the initial consultation, a joint meeting will usually involve both partners meeting together.
However, if you feel this will be an issue, speak to us about ‘shuttle’ mediation, where you can arrange to remain in separate rooms.
Many children whose parents have gone through the divorce process, say that there is often a lack of opportunity to speak about how they are feeling.
Research has shown that children who are given the chance to air their feelings and have their views listened to and respected, suffer less trauma as a result of the marital breakdown.
Child Inclusive Mediation provides an opportunity for separated parents to involve their children in decisions that affect them. A confidential session allows your children to speak freely to a trained professional, to share their concerns and to pass on any messages to their parents.
We offer a Child Inclusive Mediation service for children who are felt to be mature enough to be involved in discussions. In our experience, we find that youngsters aged 10 or over will usually benefit from a conversation with our mediator.
The number of mediation sessions needed will depend on how complex the issues between you and your partner are.
Typically between three and five sessions, each lasting one to two hours, will be required.
However, every couple is different so mediation will be tailored to your individual needs.
Many couples choose mediation rather than litigation (having the matter dealt with in court.)
The benefits of mediation include:
- Legal and court costs are minimised
- You retain control of the separation process
- Lines of communication remain open
- Conflict and acrimony are reduced
- Enables you to make cool-headed, objective decisions that are right for you
- Impacts less on your children because of parental co-operation
No. Mediation is not marriage guidance nor is it relationship counselling. The purpose of mediation is to help couples who have already decided to go their separate ways, to agree on the practical issues of separation and divorce.
Yes. All conversations which take place during a mediation session are completely confidential.
There are only a few exceptions to this, for example if it is alleged that a child has suffered harm.
Mediators are not allowed to discuss or share information with your solicitor, your partner’s solicitor or the Courts, unless you give your express consent to do so.
Mediation is not usually suitable if you have suffered domestic violence or abuse from your partner.
At the Initial Meeting, we can discuss whether mediation is a suitable option for you. If another route, such as court proceedings is more appropriate, we will tell you and provide you with information on how to proceed.