When you are considering divorce or separation it is generally better if you can sort out arrangements for the future by agreement. The aim of mediation is to help you, as a couple, find a sensible and practical solution that both agree is fair.
Couples often use mediation as a way to explore and discuss issues between them, with the assistance and guidance of an impartial mediator. Once an agreement is reached we can advise upon the appropriate legal formalities which may need to be taken to ensure that your agreement is legally binding. We can also, if necessary, provide you with partial advice in between mediation sessions so that you feel properly informed and at ease during the mediation negotiations.
Sometimes the mediator is also a trained counsellor which can be very helpful when child issues are being discussed and when emotions are running high.
Mediators are trained to ensure that discussions take place with each person feeling able to negotiate on an equal footing. Couples are encouraged, in mediation, to set an agenda and will be assisted by the mediator in providing a focus and structure to the discussions.
If issues regarding children are being discussed in mediation, a couple may need to attend three or four mediation sessions (which usually last an hour and a half). There is no minimum or maxium number of sessions, it depends on your own particular curcumstances and the issues to be decided upon.
If financial matters need to be resolved, you and the person with whom you are attending the mediation sessions will need to provide full information about your financial circumstances and the mediator will give you guidance and documentation to help you do this. You may also wish to involve your solicitors at this stage. Mediators encourage this.
Mediation can result not only in the saving of legal fees but can ultimately help to reduce hostility, tension and misunderstanding between couples.
This in turn helps to foster better communication and relations in the future, which is so important to many couples – especially those with children.