So, you have decided that mediation is the best path for you and your family; but how do you ensure you select the best mediator for your needs?
There are a number of factors that you might be wise to consider before choosing a Mediator and beginning the mediation process. Aside from certain qualifications and experience – which we will cover below – it is of incredible importance that you find a Mediator with whom you are both comfortable and feel can help to move you and your former partner towards an amicable resolution.
Family Mediation Council Accreditation
Firstly, you will want to ensure that your Mediator is registered with and accredited by the Family Mediation Council. Accredited Mediators will have received the extensive training required and will have completed many hours of study and supervised practical work. In addition, registered family mediators must regularly report to an assigned Professional Practice Consultant, who will monitor and ensure the quality of their practice.
You can use the search facility provided by the Family Mediation Council to check the validity of your mediator’s accreditation.
Finding a Mediator who is a good ‘fit’ for you and your former partner is of the upmost importance, any friction can slow the process down or bring it to a halt altogether. It is a good idea to take a look at the online profiles of mediators and, if possible, try to get a feel for them as a person – mediation can be a very emotive and personal experience, so this should be approached diligently.
You can view Steele Raymond’s Accredited Family Mediators here:
Not all Mediators will have experience, or in fact have the required qualification, to work with children in mediation, so, if there is a child or children involved, this is something you will want to pay close attention to.
Suitably experienced and qualified Mediators are able to meet with the child or children of the family in some circumstances thereby giving them a voice in the process. It is important that when you are researching your Mediator, should you feel that this is something that you would want to explore as an option, you check whether this is something that the Mediator can offer.
Prior to any mediation sessions, you will be offered an individual Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (otherwise know a ‘MIAM’). This is an excellent opportunity for all parties to find common ground and to form a foundation from which to begin the mediation process. If, after the MIAM, you or your partner do not wish to proceed with mediation, or it is considered to be unsuitable, then this is perfectly acceptable as mediation is a voluntary process for all parties.
Other important things to note about choosing a good Mediator:
Your Mediator is to be impartial, their role being to assist you both and facilitate discussions to be held in an effort to resolve issues that have arisen as a result of separation and/or family breakdown. Your Mediator cannot provide legal advice but can provide legal information so that both parties can make informed decisions.
All discussions held during a mediation session are legally privileged, which means that they are confidential and not legally binding on either party. Therefore, once a resolution is reached in respect of any issue, the Mediator will offer to record this in writing for the parties, but this is not a legally binding document. If you would wish to incorporate this within a legally binding document, then you should seek independent legal advice from a Family Lawyer.
Understandably particularly at the current time many people will have concerns and anxieties for the future. And of course these will be exacerbated in the event of a family breakdown, a separation, or pending separation. So people will need to plan and decide together how they will manage day to day life.
Even now they’ve separated or until, in fact, it’s possible for them to separate. I think that mediation should therefore be considered. And how you would do that is you can make contact with a mediator and I would always suggest that that be with a mediator that is accredited by the Family Mediation Council.
Our mediators at Steele Raymond are all accredited by the Family Mediation Council and are also practising family lawyers. All of our mediators can offer face to face meetings, government guidelines permitting of course, and also can offer online remote family mediation meetings.
To speak to one of our family mediator or to arrange an initial mediation consultation, please contact Michelle Bettell or a member of our family team on 01202 983999. Alternatively, you can enquire using the form below.
We will only use this information to handle your enquiry and will not share it with anyone else.