What is mediation?

20 March, 2017

What is mediation and how does it work?

Mediation is actively encouraged by the courts and is a voluntary, non-confrontational process for resolving family disputes. Almost all family disputes can be resolved in mediation including, but not limited to, disputes concerning divorce and separation, financial claims on divorce and issues concerning children.

Mediation usually consists of a number of meetings with one neutral mediator and couples meet together with the mediator to discuss the issues between them. The mediation sessions offer a safe and confidential environment for couples and family members to talk openly, clarify issues and explore options. Any agreement that is reached can be made into a legally binding agreement.

What are the benefits of mediation?

  • Mediation can take place at any stage of the proceedings, although it is often better to begin mediating as early as possible
  • Flexible outcomes that are tailored to a couple’s particular needs
  • Mediation is safe and confidential from the court process, encouraging discussions and negotiations that would not otherwise be possible
  • The time and timing of mediation sessions are within a couple’s control, unlike the strict court timetable that would otherwise be imposed
  • Mediation avoids the stress and threat of court proceedings
  • Mediation is considerably cheaper than any legal process

Is mediation suitable for everyone?

Mediation is not suitable for every couple. In order for mediation to be successful, both parties must be prepared to resolve issues by agreement and outside of the court process. This will require a degree of commitment and willingness to compromise.

Mediation will usually take place with the couple and mediators in the same room. However, if this is not possible (e.g. if communication has broken down to such an extent or where there is a power imbalance), the mediator can move between different rooms to ensure that the couple have little or no contact.

If you would like further information in relation to anything discusses in this post, or any aspect of family law, contact Katy-Louise Allen on 01892 506 305 or at katy-louise.allen@crippspg.co.uk