Mediation is a process whereby family members make decisions themselves rather than going to court. Mediation is usually cheaper than going to court and it is designed to progress at a speed that suits those attending. Mediation is suitable for dealing with all family issues involving couples, children, grandparents and other family members. The time and the venue of meetings are arranged to suit the attendees. The costs of each session are usually shared.
You can either contact a mediator directly or your solicitor can refer you to one. Prior to arranging a joint meeting, the mediator will speak with each party to find out what they would like to achieve through mediation. The mediator will then prepare an agenda for the first joint meeting. At the first joint meeting, attendees discuss the issues in order of priority. It may be that parties need to obtain further information (e.g. financial) before it is possible to make informed decisions.
In these challenging times, Linda’s online mediation training is proving invaluable. Online mediation provides the same benefits as traditional family mediation whilst enabling all parties to comply with social distancing measures. Clients will need access to a PC, a tablet or a laptop with a camera in order to participate in video conference sessions.
Child Inclusive Mediation
The Family Mediation Council Code of Practice 2018 requires mediators to encourage separating couples to consider their children’s wishes and feelings. All children and young people aged 10 and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during the mediation process. As a qualified Child Inclusive Mediator, Linda is ideally placed to support the children of separating couples – creating a space in which they are free to express their views to someone neutral. For further information, please read our factsheet or contact us directly.
A recent innovation within family law is hybrid mediation. Linda was one of the first family lawyers in the UK to train as a hybrid mediator, recognising the significant advantages of this new model. The hybrid mediation process allows the mediator to conduct separate (as well as joint) meetings with the individuals concerned and each party can be supported by their own lawyer. Hybrid mediation is particularly suitable for vulnerable clients and for resolving high conflict cases. To find out more, please click on our factsheet below.
A same sex couple wanted to dissolve their civil partnership. They needed to sort out their finances and the arrangements for their child. One was a high-flying career woman and the other was the main carer.
They agreed to attend mediation to talk through the issues, rather than go to court. The priority for both was the welfare of their child. One of my key roles was to balance the difference of power between the career woman – savvy about legal issues – and the main carer who felt nervous and disempowered. So I made sure that she was always fully up to speed with everything we were discussing and that we didn’t use any legal jargon or terms she wouldn’t understand.
The civil partnership was dissolved by agreement. The arrangements for the child to see both parents were agreed, with a provision for regular reviews. The joint property was sold, with both parents having enough funds to buy a home each where their child is able to live or visit. The parent with the main care is being supported until the child is older and she will be able to resume working full time.
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