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 FAMILY MEDIATION
01223 415372

"Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives to it"*

*A quote from Dorothy Thompson, a relationship advice expert.

We, as mediators, assist families in conflict to find solutions to their issues. Each family is unique and there is no 'one size fits all' solution to family conflict.

So, what is Family Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process. Mediators are impartial. The decisions rest with the parties. Mediation is confidential.

The role of the Mediator is to facilitate discussions between the parties, to ensure that there are balanced negotiations and that both parties fully participate in the process. If either of the parties feels that the other may have an advantage because, for example, they use negotiating skills in their profession, a Mediator is able to redress this balance and ensure that neither party has the upper hand. If it is not possible for the Mediator to do this, for whatever reason, then the mediation will not continue.

There are several ways in which family conflict can be resolved. The parties can, and should, take legal advice from separate solicitors/lawyers. The legal representatives can negotiate between them, on behalf of each of the clients, to try to reach a solution. The parties can each instruct a Collaboratively trained lawyer and participate in a series of four-way meetings to try to resolve the issues. The parties can attend mediation. The parties will have a series of meetings with a Mediator, who will facilitate discussions between the parties as to how they will resolve their issues.

The Mediator will not give legal advice, but the Mediator is able to tell both parties what the best and worst case scenario is likely to be and can tell both parties the factors which a Judge would take into consideration when deciding a matter. Mediators are trained professionals who are able to help the parties to talk to each other and help to get the parties talking again if they 'hit a brick wall' or reach impasse.

If all else fails, and this really must be the last resort, one or other of the parties can make an application to the Court. Before a party is able to make an application to family court, except in certain very limited circumstances, that party must have looked into the possibility of resolving issues through mediation. That person must have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, or ' MIAM'.

The other party to the dispute is invited by the Mediator to also attend a MIAM. If they refuse, then the first party is free to make their application to the Court. If they agree to attend a MIAM, then the parties and the mediator can consider whether the matter is one which can be mediated and if so, whether the parties are prepared to try mediation.

When is Mediation Appropriate?

Mediation is appropriate for any issue which the parties' have the power to resolve. These will include, but are not limited to :

  • Where the children will live when parents separate
  • How the children will share their time between their parents
  • How much children will see of members of their extended family
  • How parents will communicate with one another in the future about their children
  • How property, pensions and other financial assets are to be divided up
  • How child maintenance is to be arranged

When is Mediation not Appropriate?

Mediation is not appropriate if there has been serious domestic violence and one of the parties is unable, through fear of repraisals, to voice their thoughts and opinions. Mediation is not appropriate if either of the parties wishes to use the process to try to bully the other party into submission. Mediaton is not appropriate if either of the parties is being dishonest or has a hidden agenda.

MEDIATION WILL ONLY WORK IF BOTH PARTIES ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS AND WANT TO ACHIEVE THE BEST OUTCOME FOR THEIR FAMILY.

Bridget is qualified to undertake MIAM appointments and to provide you with an FM1 should you need to make an application to court.

If you are not being referred by a lawyer, please feel free to make contact by telephone or by email. We will ask you the full names of both parties with contact details including addresses and telephone numbers.

Contact Bridget:

Family Mediation Referrals

Solicitor Referral Forms:

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