Family Mediation Week 18 - 22 January 2021

 

Mediation awareness.

Family mediation week is a great initiative designed to increase and spread awareness of a very powerful tool for families faced with issues that can arise from separation and divorce.

It’s a time to reflect on why mediation is a suitable process – it is not for everyone but I am a firm believer in the process being at least considered by those who are embarking on or may some way down the line of a family breakdown. For many cases the mediation process, despite apparent hostilities or different approaches at the outset can prove beneficial. Often, but not always, hostility and division can be driven by the fear of the unknown and lack of direct communication only compounds those fears and opposite positions adopted and “battle lines” can be drawn which are difficult to back down from.

Mediation enables you to retain control of the decisions you are faced with by providing a safe, structured and managed environment to enable direct discussions to take place. The mediator will help you find a way to try and tackle the issues together, working through them and enabling you to have informed conversations about how, in your particular circumstances, you are able to resolve them.

Despite increased awareness of the options available on separation, I still experience that too often mediation is overlooked as an easy or soft option or one that simply “wouldn’t suit” without a proper exploration of the benefits that mediation can provide. As a family solicitor and mediator with over 18 years experience in Family Law I am a huge advocate of mediation as a process and believe that it should be considered in many more cases than it is currently. The mediation process is hard work, takes huge commitment, willingness and good faith and is certainly not an “easy” option. There is no solicitor’s correspondence to hide behind, you are responsible for your own outcome but by committing to working together to find the best solution for you and your family that hard work and commitment can be hugely beneficial. Mediation is a transparent process which takes place via a series of face to face meetings (at present generally by way of an online method given the current Covid-19 pandemic). The mediator does not give legal advice, although will ensure balanced and accurate legal information is provided where necessary, and I find mediation works best when legal advice is given alongside it supporting the process and helping you narrow the options that will be the best fit for your family. It is fluid and bespoke -your issues are your issues, and the mediator will help you find your solutions.

So whether you are considering separation, already separated or some years later still dealing with the fall out and issues that changing lives (not least a pandemic) bring to, for example, co-parenting arrangements, I would urge you to consider all of your options before deciding on a particular route including whether the mediation process could be of benefit to you.

Further information about mediation can be found online (I would recommend the Resolution website at https://resolution.org.uk/looking-for-help/splitting-up/your-process-options-for-divorce-and-dissolution/family-mediation) or please contact me to find out how the mediation service we offer through Purcell Solicitors could assist you and your family on 01908 693000 or by email to lisa@purcellsolicitors.co.uk

 

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