What is Family Mediation?
Family mediation is a constructive and supportive process to deal with separation, divorce, dissolution and other family issues. An experienced and impartial mediator will work with you to sort out arrangements for children, your communication as parents, property and finances and any considerations there are for extended family.
What makes a good Family Mediator?
It is important to find a family mediator who is well trained and in whom you can feel a sense of both professional confidence and personal trust. You will most probably get a feeling about whether the mediator is the sort of person you could work with when you speak with them on the phone. However, below is a more tangible list of things to look for in a family mediator:
- The mediator has had foundation training that is recognised by the Family Mediation Council (FMC) and maintains a membership to one of the FMC affiliated organisations.
- He or she is recognised by the FMC/Legal Aid Agency to do publicly funded work or is accredited by the Law Society. This indicates that they have been through a rigorous assessment of their casework to ensure that their practice is up to the quality mark standard.
- The mediator is also a trained and acting Professional Practice Consultant for other mediators, which indicates a good level of experience and understanding of the profession.
- He or she has 5 or more years experience of practicing in a busy family mediation practice, where they are carrying out around 100 hours of mediation a year, and therefore has experience of a wide range of cases.
- The mediator has a good knowledge of the legal framework in all the areas of law that relate to family matters.
- He or she has the skills to deal effectively with conflict and difficult emotional situations that may arise in mediation.
All mediators at Able Mediation fulfill the above criteria, so you can be assured that we have the skills and experience to support you through the mediation process. To read about our mediators, follow this link.
Who is Family Mediation for?
- Couples who wish to separate or divorce
- Separated couples who still need to make arrangements for children, property or finance.
- Same sex couples and civil partners
- It is cost effective and can help achieve settlement more quickly than legal proceedings.
- It can work alongside independent legal advice.
- It is flexible. Meetings can be booked to fit in with your circumstances.
- Mediators are specialists in dealing with conflict.
- Mediators do not take sides or make judgements. They help you consider different options so that you can make informed decisions.
- Mediation helps improve communication.
- Research shows that mediation results in better outcomes for children involved in relationship breakdown.
The Mediation Process
There are three stages to the mediation process:
- Assessment meeting. This is sometimes referred to as the Mediation Information and Assessment meeting (MIAM). It is usually an individual meeting with a mediator where you have the opportunity to talk through your situation, get information about mediation and decide whether it is the right process for you. If mediation doesn’t go ahead after the MIAM an Able Mediation mediator can sign off the appropriate court form, including the FM1, where needed.
- Mediation sessions. Mediation sessions are usually joint meetings. It generally takes between one and six 90-minute meetings, depending on whether the issues are to do with children, finances or both.
- End of mediation. At the end of mediation you will have your proposals recorded for you in a document and a copy of your financial disclosure, where appropriate.
Can agreements be made legally binding?
Yes. Mediated agreements can be taken to a solicitor to be made into legally binding documents.
How long does family mediation take?
- Mediation generally takes between one and six 90-minute meetings, depending on whether the issues are to do with children, finances or both.
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