During this week’s good divorce week we are focusing on how separating couples can avoid going to Court. This blog is about mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is all about trying to make decisions with your ex-spouse or partner in a more amicable and cost effective way. It involves you and your ex-spouse or partner sitting down together, either in person or online, with a mediator, identifying what decisions need to be made due to your separation, what the options are, how these options will work for you and your family and which option will work best for you.
Mediation is not counselling; its purpose is not to get you back together with your partner or spouse. If you want to explore this, couples counselling should be considered.
What decisions can be made in mediation?
Almost anything that is relevant to your separation. This could be arrangements for the children, what’s going to happen to the house, who is going to pay the mortgage or rent in the meantime, who is going to start a divorce etc.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Cost – mediation is usually cheaper than other options such as going to Court or doing everything through your solicitors.
Control – you and your ex-partner are in control of the decisions that you make. You are not handing over decision making about your future to a Judge and there should be less chance of miscommunication or interpretation than with solicitors’ letters.
Civility – although mediation might not be an easy option and there can still be conflict, it is usually more amicable and more civil than some of the other options. It doesn’t promote acrimonious language, positions or a fight as the Court system can do.
Should I still get legal advice?
Yes, you should still obtain legal advice from a solicitor. Depending on your circumstances you might be able to get the advice you need in just one meeting. This will depend on how complex your financial circumstances are and how much information you are able to provide to your solicitor. They will also be able to discuss with you the different options available to you to resolve the issues and which might be best in your particular circumstances.
Who can use mediation?
You can use mediation if you are married or unmarried and have decisions to make as a result of your separation.
How much does mediation cost?
The costs of mediation can vary. Some mediators charge a fixed cost per meeting and some charge depending on how much time they spend helping you. Mediation can cost around £300 per session per person but this can vary greatly. Legal aid is also available for mediation if people are financially eligible, but unfortunately there are few mediators who offer legal aid.
Good Divorce Week 2022 Ending the Family Court Crisis
Good Divorce Week 2022 (28 Nov - 2 Dec) will highlight the crisis in the family courts and raise awareness of all the different ways families can resolve their disputes away from Court - where it is safe and appropriate to do so - and how members guide families through that process.