Family mediation is a way of sorting out financial and children arrangements after separation or divorce without going to court. You make the decisions with the mediator's guidance and help.
Why consider family mediation?
- It allows you and your partner to deal with the consequences of your separation on your own terms rather than handing control over to a judge
- It helps you communicate more effectively during and after your divorce
- It's cost-effective, especially when compared to going to court
How does it work?
- There are a number of different mediation models. Usually you meet as a couple with the mediator without lawyers in the room, but lawyer assisted mediation is an option. Some mediators are qualified to see children so their views can be fed back into your discussions
- Mediators manage the process and help guide your discussions by identifying and exploring any issues to give you the best chance of agreeing everything
- Mediators are impartial. They cannot give legal advice, but can explain what's legally possible and how other couples may have resolved things in similar circumstances
- When you've reached a mediation agreement in principle, the mediator prepares a summary (often called a “Memorandum of Understanding”), which isn't binding until you've had the chance to take independent legal advice. Your lawyer may need to prepare a formal order for court approval to give the agreement legal power
Mediation is a really effective and lower cost choice for many couples. That's why, with some exceptions (for example where it's unsafe because of domestic abuse), before making a court application, you usually need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to explore mediation and other out of court options. Too often, family lawyers see this as a tick box exercise. We're different.
Whether we're acting as mediators or supporting you through the process as independent advisers, we believe passionately that mediation can succeed even in cases that are complex or where agreement might initially seem impossible.
Between them, the mediation lawyers in our six offices across the country have the qualifications and experience to offer the full range of family mediation services including where there are international issues.
Recent mediation work includes:
- A mediation for parents following court proceedings about enforcing an order for child arrangements
- A lawyer assisted financial mediation in Jersey
- A complex pre-nuptial agreement with assets around £50m
- A high conflict mediation where initially the couple couldn't be in the same room together
- Mediating in a case involving an entrepreneur with complicated business assets
The Mills & Reeve family team has unrivalled mediation expertise.