Family Mediation: What’s the Point?
Written from the perspective of a non mediator
If you’re going through a separation the chances are that you’re already dealing with a variety of organisations and paying out a significant amount of money trying to sort out your finances and newly separate lives. So why should you bother seeing a family mediator as well? Surely it just adds another person into an already uncomfortable situation, more time spent on appointments, more money, more hassle…?
Well here are five good reasons why you should consider family mediation, from the perspective of someone objective:
- Mediation can save you time: It takes between three and five sessions for couples to reach agreement. Because you are talking directly to your former partner, rather than waiting for letters and emails to go between solicitors, mediation can speed up the negotiations considerably.
- Mediation can save you money: A survey earlier this year reported that the average cost for a divorce lawyer in London was £350 an hour. Our fees are £100 an hour for clients on an income of over £30,000. As lawyer mediators we can give legal information to you jointly but not advice. You can considerably reduce the amount of time you need to spend with solicitors.
- Legal Aid: Legal Aid has been cut for most family law cases. However, if you are eligible for help with your legal costs, Legal Aid is still available for mediation, making this an ideal option for you.
- In many cases, if you are seeking a court order regarding children and finances you must show that you have considered mediation: The Court will expect that you have tried to sort out your practical arrangements out of court with a mediator and that you have either attended a MIAMS meeting and have an FM1 or that the other person is unwilling to come to mediation and this is confirmed by a recognised mediator.
- Mediation is a better way as it is more constructive: Although the idea of entering into face to face discussions with a former partner may be daunting, most people find the experience far more positive than they may have expected. Put simply, a constructive dialogue in mediation can lead to better outcomes for families and post separation relationships between parents.