Family mediation is a form of dispute resolution and allows those involved in a family dispute to take control and sort out details for their relationship breakdown or other family arrangements with the assistance of an impartial and legally trained mediator. The mediation process encourages co-operation and provides a safe and structured environment for people to explore all of the options in a calm and civilised manner. The mediation agenda is agreed by those participating and can concentrate on a division of finances, future housing plans, arrangements for children or a combination of all of these.
Impartial and cost effective
Mediation often proves to be a very cost effective way of resolving family issues whilst also focusing on minimising conflict and preserving working relationships for the future. The role of the mediator will be to listen to both sides, to help keep discussions focused and to promote constructive and often creative solutions. The number of mediation sessions that you will need depends on the complexity of your particular situation but generally three to five meetings is sufficient.
Our qualified mediators are also solicitors and have developed their skills and knowledge over many years of legal practice. The first meeting with one of our mediators will be a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) when you will have the opportunity to speak to the mediator on your own, to raise any concerns and ask any questions about the process. As long as we agree that mediation is appropriate in your particular circumstances we will then contact the other party and invite them to meet with us.
Child Inclusive Mediation (previously Direct Consultation with Children)
Children often find it very difficult during a separation, they may feel torn between both parents, be worried about upsetting one or both of them, and can blame themselves. As a result, the messages parents receive often become confused or conflicted, making it difficult to make the best arrangements for children.
Child inclusive mediation provides a confidential and safe environment for children to talk about matters without fear or consequence, and helps parents have a better understanding of children’s concerns and needs. Children feel free to express themselves more openly and to be honest and clear when speaking with someone independent of the family unit, without the presence of either parent.
Consultations are most suited, and are recommended, for children aged 10 and over, but in exceptional circumstances may also be suitable for younger children. Siblings can be seen together or separately.
The process is handled very carefully and sensitively for both children and parents alike.
If you would like to find out more about child inclusive mediation our mediator, Anna-Jane Spirit, would be very happy to assist. She has an enhanced DBS check, and has been specially trained to guide your child or children through the process sensitively. Your child’s welfare remains paramount at all times.
Paying for mediation
A mediator’s hourly rate is broadly the same as that of your legal adviser but is shared between the participants in whatever proportion you decide is fair. Mediation, if successful, can cost significantly less than going to court. You may be entitled to Legal Aid to cover your costs if you are on a low income and only have limited savings. It is possible for one person to be publicly funded and the other to pay privately. At Burley Geach we are able to offer both publicly funded and privately funded mediation services.
We are very happy to meet face to face or make use of video conferencing facilities when appropriate. If you have any specific requirements please mention them when contacting us and we will discuss with you how we can help.
If you would like to know more about the mediation process, child inclusive mediation or to arrange an initial meeting please contact us and we will gladly assist.