Managing divorce through the conventional legal system is sometimes regarded as the only option, but there is an alternative. Mediation is becoming increasingly popular as it is cheaper and less traumatic than legal proceedings.
A well-managed mediation, which both parties approach in a positive way, can be a helpful stepping stone to the next phase of your life.
Here are our top tips and advice on using mediation.
1 It is not marriage guidance
Some people are confused by the purpose of mediation. A mediator isn’t there to get couples back together but to help manage the separation in a civilised and constructive way.
2 Mediation will focus on issues
Apportioning blame for the relationship breaking down is not part of the process. The important role of the mediator is to help both parties to focus on issues that need to be resolved, such as property, finances, custody and access.
3 Mediation is voluntary
You do not have to use mediation, but you will have to prove that you have considered it before you can apply to the courts for a settlement.
4 You make the decisions
Mediators can propose possible solutions and provide information. They cannot make or impose decisions on behalf of either party.
5 Mediators are impartial
They do not represent either party and do not make judgements. They are there to help you agree constructive and workable solutions.
6 Mediation discussions can’t be used as evidence
Discussions are confidential and ‘without prejudice.’ Nothing said during mediation sessions can be used as evidence if the mediation fails.
7 Mediation is not legal advice
It is still advisable to seek legal advice before you engage in mediation so that you are fully aware of your rights and obligations. Also, any agreements will need to be made legally binding when the mediation has concluded.
The Powells mediation service is accredited by the Law Society. Our mediator is skilled in helping people deal with the practical and emotional aspects of divorce. You can arrange an appointment with our mediator either on your own or together before the mediation starts.
If you are considering mediation or want to find out more, click here or contact our Family Team on 01934 623 501.