what is it?

Mediation is a process by which people talk face to face about the arrangements for their future with the help a mediator in a safe and confidential environment. Separate rooms can be arranged if required. It is an opportunity to communicate the needs of your children, yourselves and the wider family, and to resolve your differences at your own pace. Mediation is a way of helping you to reach our own agreements which take account of all your immediate and longer term concerns and interests. We look at all the issues together as very often they are linked.

the four principles

Mediation is voluntary. There will be no undue pressure on you to participate in the process, although increasingly courts expect you to have attempted mediation before starting court proceedings. In particular, mediators will be cautious about proceeding in cases of abuse or violence or an extreme imbalance of power.

Mediators are impartial. They will not offer or express a personal opinion but they will often provide substantial information and guidance.

Mediation is confidential, unless there are issues of Child Protection, Domestic Violence, or money laundering. Any set of proposals that are mutually acceptable will be written up as a confidential summary which will not be legally binding until ratified by solicitors or the court and cannot be referred to in court proceedings. There must however be comprehensive disclosure of financial information; this can be shared with solicitors or with the court at a later stage.

Decision making rests with the participants; that is, you are treated as the experts in dealing with your children, your finances and your future.

benefits of mediation

less stress, less time, less money.

Mediation is often quicker, cheaper and less confrontational than other ways of resolving disputes. Research shows it can cost a quarter of the price and take a quarter of the time of going to court.