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family law specialists

Family Mediation & Divorce Help

What is mediation?

The mediation process is an option available to you to help resolve your issues with your former partner. Our trained mediator, Vicky Robertson is qualified to assist in all areas of family disputes.  A mediator’s role is to be neutral in that they will not take sides and cannot give legal advice to either of you.  Vicky can provide guidance on options available to you but cannot advise you on your ‘best outcome’. It is always recommended that you obtain legal advice alongside the mediation process.

How does mediation work?

You can contact Vicky directly or your solicitor can refer you.  Once you have made contact Vicky will arrange an individual meeting with you both separately before arranging a joint meeting if you are both happy to proceed.  During the individual meeting the process of mediation will be explained fully to you and any concerns or reservations that you may have will be explored.  Mediation is an entirely voluntary process and nobody can be forced to attend.

Joint sessions

Vicky will encourage you both take a respectful and constructive approach to mediation and will strive to assist you in reaching proposals that you both find acceptable.  These proposals are then recorded in a confidential document called a Memorandum of Understanding and where the issues relate to financial matters Vicky will also prepare an Open Financial Statement.  The open financial statement records a summary of the financial information that you have provided during the mediation process and both documents can be considered with your respective solicitors.  If the matter relates to finances, your solicitors can then prepare the necessary Court papers.

The benefits of mediation 

Mediation has the advantage of helping to assist with improved communication.  This is particularly important where there are children involved.  Most parties report that mediation leaves them feeling that they have more control over their arrangments rather than resolving matters through traditional methods such as court proceedings or negotiations through solicitors.   Mediation generally offers a cheaper journey to resolution than alternative methods and is also considered to be less stressful.  Mediation also has flexibility in that a wide range of matters relating to family disputes can be discussed.

When should I attend mediation?

There is no fixed rule as to when mediation is most appropriate.  However, it is usually better to commence the process during the early stages of separation.  This is to avoid any disagreements escalating.  If however you have separated some time ago but simply wanted to try and resolve issues then mediation can be effective at any time.

If you wish to make an application to the court for any family law matter, the law says that you must consider mediation to see whether court proceedings can be avoided.  There are certain exceptions to this which include where there has been domestic violence or domestic abuse but normally you would require the mediator to sign your court application form.  This form can be signed at any stage during the mediation process such as if mediation breaks down or at a first meeting if it is clear that the mediation process is not suitable in your individual circumstances.

What should I do next?

If you would like to try the mediation process you can contact Vicky Robertson on 01245 221699

click here to download our mediation referral form, however if you just wish to make an initial enquiry at this stage then click here to download an initial enquiry form