Family mediation offers an alternative to court proceedings for separating couples. If you are in the midst of a relationship breakdown or family dispute, our Family Mediation Council accredited lawyers can provide professional and impartial support.
When a dispute occurs, it’s difficult to know what to do, particularly when going to court can be so costly and time-consuming. Family mediation is a quicker, cheaper and more amicable way to explore your options and resolve your personal disputes.
Family mediation is a process conducted by a trained and impartial mediator who will assist you and your former partner in coming to an amicable agreement on such things as child arrangements and finances following your separation.
Relationship breakdown and subsequent separation from a long-term partner will likely be one of the most stressful, emotive, and complex experiences of your adult life. With so much to consider, the help of a trained family mediation lawyer can help to remove some of the emotion and assist you in finding common ground.
When considering the services of a mediation lawyer, you may find it helpful to know about the principles of the mediation process.
Although mediation may not be right for everyone, it can offer a number of benefits over taking your family disputes or separation to court. These include:
Throughout the family mediation process, children like to be involved and are keen to know what is going on but many find that their concerns are not considered. Children want to know what time they will be spending with each parent, where they will live or when they will see their extended family. They may feel unable to voice their feelings for fear of upsetting their parents or they may feel that one or both parents are not listening to them.
Child inclusive mediation allows children to voice their views, wishes and feelings without the burden of decision-making. Children are not forced to talk about things that they do not want to and if they do not want to be part of the process, they are free to make that choice. If they want a place in the process (and their parents agree), they will be invited to speak with a legally qualified mediator who specialises in child consultation.
Child inclusive meetings usually last between 30 – 60 minutes, depending on how many children are involved, although time is not restricted and there is no limit to the number of meetings. Talk to us about child inclusive mediation >
Mediation is an effective way for you and your former partner to come to an agreement about future child arrangements. Anyone applying to the courts in respect of disputes involving children is required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (often referred to as a MIAM – find out more about MIAMs and how they differ from mediation). These applications include:
A Child Arrangements Order: An order which regulates with whom and when a child is to live, spend time with or have contact with. These orders are governed by section 8 of the Children Act 1989.
A Specific Issue Order: An order granted by the family court concerning a specific child-related issue where parents with parental responsibility cannot otherwise reach an agreement. These can include, whether a child should change their name; decision related to the child’s education; and permanently moving a child abroad. Also known as a section 8 order.
A Parental Responsibility Order: An order granted by the family court which gives parental responsibility.
Before you enter into the mediation process, it is wise to gather as much information as possible to ensure it is the correct path for you. Our mediation lawyers are comitted to providing relevant and up-to-date mediation guidance to help you on you journey:
Our professional and pragmatic mediation lawyers understand that the matters of each family are unique and should be approached with empathy and understanding in order to guide you towards the best possible outcome.
To arrange a mediation or to simply discuss your interest in our services, call us on 01202 983999, complete the form below or contact Lindsay Halliwell directly.
For more information on how we can help you:
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Family Client | Winchester
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Family Client | Bournemouth
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Family Client | Bournemouth