What is mediation?
Mediation is where a trained and qualified mediator assists you and your ex-partner to reach an agreement about various issues following the breakdown of a relationship.
These issues can include children and any arrangements including who they will live with and what contact they will have with each parent.
The most common use for mediation is to discuss a resolution in respect of the financial matters to include what will happen with property, savings, pensions and debts etc.
Mediation is now compulsory (save for certain exceptions) before any application to Court can be made to resolve either children or financial matters. It is a very positive way of resolving such issues; it can be cheaper, quicker and less stressful than working things out via negotiations with a solicitor.
Why is it better than going through Court?
Court proceedings can be very expensive and are often a lengthy procedure. They can cause relationships to deteriorate even further, and parties can ultimately lose the control in respect of final decisions. Within Court proceedings, the final decision may be made by a Judge who could sit unfavourably for one or both parties involved. Mediation, however, allows both parties to have their say and hopefully reach a settlement which is satisfactory for everybody involved.
Court proceedings are also very costly. In most circumstances you will be paying your solicitor on an hourly rate and one hearing at court may last many hours. With mediation the fees are usually very clear and set out at the beginning − so you both know exactly what you are paying for.
There is nothing to lose in attending mediation but there could be a lot to gain with potential savings in both time and money.
How can we help?
The Family Law Company has several experienced mediators, including Norman Hartnell, Jane Chanot and Jill Read-Brown, who can assist separating spouses in dealing with their financial arrangements, as well as arrangements for their children if appropriate.
The Family Law Company offers free half an hour appointments where we can discuss your needs and the funding options available to you. If you require further information or advice in respect of any family matter, please contact our solicitors in Exeter on 01392 421777.