What is mediation?
Mediation is a procedure where each party openly discusses their disputes with the assistance of a trained third person. This third person will assist those involved to reach an agreed settlement.
Family mediators are trained to act impartially and do not seek to apportion blame. Mediation is not marriage guidance nor couple counselling. It is a forum to try and resolve important issues with the assistance of an independent third party, the mediator. Mediation plays an important role in assisting families to address and resolve the issues which arise from separation and divorce.
How mediators can help
Mediation can provide real benefits in appropriate cases. Our team of mediators can help to reduce tension and hostility, and can encourage couples to make their own informed decisions about their futures. Our mediators are also trained lawyers so can provide information as to the legal position to both.
Parties are encouraged to take legal advice whilst going through the mediation process, although their legal advisers do not usually attend the mediation sessions with them. Where a couple are going through mediation with another firm, then our lawyers can help, support and advise clients throughout the mediation process, so that they can make informed decisions as to how they wish to proceed in the mediation setting.
If you have reached a financial agreement with a mediator and want this converted into a binding order within the divorce proceedings (which is advisable so that it is enforceable), our lawyers can draft the necessary paperwork to convert your agreement into a legally binding document.
What can be resolved through meditation?
You can ask the mediator to assist you to resolve any issues that you have. These might be in relation to finances (as a result of separation following a marriage or cohabitation) and also to resolve the future arrangements for your children.
Why mediation matters
The advantages of mediation
Children and mediation – keeping it out of court
There are two trained mediators in our team Kirstie Law and Desmond O'Donnell. They will be happy to mediate for you to hopefully reach agreement with regard to children and/or financial issues. As mediators they will be impartial and will give you both information about the law jointly so that you can make informed decisions.
Kirstie is one of our mediators, and is qualified to meet with children as part of the mediation process. Kirstie recently facilitated parents, who had previously been in conflict, to agree to longer term arrangements for the care of their children. The children involved had been expressing conflicting wishes and feelings to each parent, but after Kirstie had been able to speak separately and independently to the children, the parents were able to reach an agreement.
How our mediators helped, a client’s story
Desmond assisted a couple who were due to have a final hearing in 10 days’ time. As part of the mediation process they were able to agree to all the financial matters arising from the breakdown of their marriage, thereby saving significant financial costs and emotional stress in avoiding a full contested final hearing.
As part of a mediation process, Kirstie was able to help resolve an ‘intractable’ case relating to the arrangements for the children of the relationship. The mediation meeting was an opportunity for the parents to vocalise very passionately their respective views, and having heard the other parent’s views, and been able to express what they felt, they were then able to move forward and reach an agreement with regard to the longer term care of their children.
Do you wish to find out more about mediation and how the process works? Please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team to discuss further.