Family Mediation FAQ
What is Family Mediation?
Family Mediation is a process which aims to reach an agreement on key points involved in a divorce or separation. For example, the terms of the divorce, arrangements for the children’s residence and contact with the other parent as well as agreeing a financial and property settlement.
This is a form of dispute resolution aimed at dealing with the practicalities of a divorce or separation. It is not marriage counseling and is not aimed at saving the relationship.
The mediation is facilitated with the help of a third party trained mediator who is independent of both parties to the dispute.
Do I have to go to Family Mediation?
The Government brought in Family Mediation for anyone involved in a dispute over the terms of their separation or divorce. The aim was to try and reduce the amount of people going to court over this type of issue.
In you are in a dispute over the terms of your divorce or separation you will have to attend an initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting before you can proceed to court.
You will be encouraged to proceed with Family Mediation after this, although it is not compulsory unless both parties wish to continue with the process.
What are the benefits of Family Mediation?
Family Mediation can have a number of benefits over the alternative of going to court to deal with a separation.
- Keep financial costs to a minimum
- A quicker resolution to the dispute may be possible
- The decision making remains with the two parties involved rather than potentially being placed in the hands of a Judge
- The potential for a less acrimonious divorce / separation
- Communication between the two parties is maintained