What is family mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process which takes place in a safe, confidential environment which is informal, yet professional. It enables those taking part to reach their own informed decisions following meaningful discussions and negotiation, managed with sensitivity and professionalism. The mediator, who is strictly neutral, assists the couple or other family members to reach decisions that are workable both in the short and the long term. The discussions in mediation are confidential (save for concerns about child protection). Mediation often produces creative, tailored solutions which are likely to lead to more satisfactory arrangements for all concerned.
The Government has recently acknowledged that in comparison to the court process, family mediation is generally cheaper, quicker and less acrimonious. Ultimately it is a process that puts those taking part in control of the decisions that affect their lives, as opposed to having decisions imposed on them by the Court.
At what point in the separation process is family mediation useful?
Mediation can help couples at any stage of their separation. It can be beneficial before a couple have separated, but have decided that they will do so, after a recent separation or in some cases many years later. It can even be helpful once court proceedings have begun.
Important points to note about family mediation
- Mediation is voluntary
- Mediation is not counselling or relationship therapy
- Mediators are impartial
- Mediators do not give legal advice; they provide helpful information to enable better solutions to be found
- Mediation enables those attending to make the decisions that affect them
- Mediation is not suitable for all separated couples. It must be a safe process. If in doubt about this, speak to Adrienne Cox in confidence for further information.
Types of family mediation work undertaken by Devon & Exeter Mediation Practice
- Mediation resolving disputes relating to the arrangements for children including parenting plans, finance and property, communication and any other matters that are important following the breakdown of the relationship
- Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs)
- Direct consultation with children as part of the mediation process (Child Inclusive Mediation)
- Mediation with solicitors or other relevant professionals in attendance