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Helping families in conflict – A guide to mediation

What is Mediation?

During the week 18-22 January 2021, The Family Mediation Council (FMC) is running a campaign called Family Mediation Week to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families to manage their issues collaboratively and productively.

Since 6 April 2011, all separating couples who wish to commence court proceedings to resolve issues concerning children or finances on divorce must first consider whether mediation would be an appropriate way of settling their dispute. In many some cases it may not be, but the courts increasingly wish to be certain that mediation has been properly considered before the litigation proceeds.

What is family mediation?

Family mediation is a process whereby an independent, professionally trained mediator helps a separating couple to try to achieve agreement on issues such as:

  • Parenting arrangements for children following separation
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Other finances (for example house, savings, pension, or debts)

It can also be used to reach agreement on other wider issues, such as how children might keep in touch with their grandparents. Mediation can also be helpful when pre-existing arrangements made by separating couples need to be adapted to accommodate a change in circumstances.

Mediation puts the couple in the driving seat. A mediator will help them to find a solution which works for both and which can then be recorded in a legally binding agreement.

Clarke Willmott offers family and divorce mediation (along with other methods of out of court resolution such as collaborative law) as a means of resolving difficult issues, which couples face when going through a separation.

In addition we can provide legal advice during the mediation process to guide separating couples on the terms of their settlement and can also give one off advice on the settlement that is reached.

Contact us to speak to a family law solicitor about our mediation and collaborative law services. The Family Team at Clarke Willmott can advise on the full range of international and domestic private family law issues. Please contact us today for an initial confidential consultation.


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