Separation and divorce by its very nature is a difficult process. Finding the right solution when there’s a lot at stake and emotions are running high can lead to tricky negotiations. Previously mutual separations can become heated when discussing arrangements through lawyers and third parties and not directly with one another.
Couples are now looking for a quicker, less confrontational and more cost effective option, focusing on the practical elements of separation and keeping their involvement with lawyers to a minimum. Mediation is ideally suited to helping couples achieve a solution unique to their family situation rather than one imposed by a Judge.
What is family mediation?
Family mediation offers a non-confrontational route to resolving family separation. Trained mediators offer a safe environment for parties to discuss their concerns and the division of assets, property and arrangements for children.
This leads to effective communication both inside and outside the Mediation sessions and avoids the risk of lengthy and costly court proceedings.
What does family mediation involve?
Offering 90 minute sessions, couples are invited to work through workable options in respect of the future childcare and financial arrangements, guided by a trained mediator. Both parties are more likely to be happier with arrangements they have agreed together.
Once finalised, arrangements are recorded in writing to enable each party to seek legal advice from their family lawyer and to move towards obtaining a legally binding agreement.
What does family mediation cost?
Mediation is a fraction of the cost that negotiations through family lawyers can represent which can be upwards of £3,000 plus VAT. The process is also significantly less than contested court proceedings that can result in costs between £5,000 and £40,000 plus VAT.
In our experience, couples generally require four sessions to reach agreement. Added to preparation of documents by the mediator, each party would expect to pay £1,100 plus VAT. Those who are eligible for legal aid can approach a legal aid practice.
How do I apply for mediation?
At Poole Townsend we prefer to speak to clients as soon as possible after the decision has been made to separate. At an initial meeting, Angela O’Neill. our family mediator, will explain the whole process, likely timescales, costs involved and whether mediation is the right option. Where it is, future meetings are then scheduled for both parties to attend together.
Benefits of mediation
Family mediation is a process that enables discussions to take place confidentially and in a safe environment.. These discussions are under the guidance of a trained mediator that can offer honest and impartial information which will help both parties to consider the options fully.
Couples can avoid lengthy, emotionally exhausting and costly court proceedings to find a solution that they are both happy with.
If you would like to know more about our Family Mediation service, or to speak to Angela our mediator, please visit the dedicated page on our website.