Machins Solicitors LLP
Leading Solicitors in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire
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Mediation - Let Machins guide you on how to avoid court applications & reduce costs when separating

Posted: 14th January 2021   In: Family Law

Divorce, separation or relationship breakdown is a challenging and difficult time when you may be worried about the impact it will have on you and your family - emotionally and financially.  There are many horror stories out there about huge legal costs being incurred when separating couples go to court and whilst there are times when it is necessary to go to court, the Machins Family Law team will always look for alternatives that may better suit you and your family. 

Mediation is an out of court option we offer that you may want to consider


Mediation is a process to help you resolve your family differences without going to court. There is often confusion about the term mediation which is sometimes mistaken for counselling. Mediation is not about reconciliation but about moving forward usually after breakdown and helping everyone understand where the essence of the dispute is – which then enables you to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.

Mediation enables you to settle disputes whether or not you are legally represented at any time. It is a voluntary, confidential and an impartial service which provides a safe, neutral environment for you to communicate. The role of the mediator is to help you communicate and achieve practical solutions. Family mediation will assist you and/or other family members reach sensible and long lasting solutions for the future in all areas of relationship breakdown be it divorce, separation, property, other financial matters or matters regarding your children.

As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the way in which mediation services have been delivered has evolved.  Mediators have had to find ways to meet the challenge of delivering effective mediation without traditional face to face meetings and very quickly the mediation services offered by Machins moved online.   Mediation has very successfully taken place through a variety of video platforms and this service will continue. When regulations permit, face to face mediation remains available if one party is not comfortable with the video format – at an acceptable social distance of course. 

In preparing for your mediation, our accredited mediators will ensure the time you spend in mediation is as effective as possible.  You will be guided through the process every step of the way and although our mediators may not be physically with you, they will take the time to ensure you are comfortable, your environment is safe & secure and you have a true feeling of engagement in the process.  We can also reassure you as to the safety and security of any documents you submit to us in an electronic format.   

The benefits of mediation:


Often in divorce or separation it is difficult to establish the true wishes and feelings of the children particularly if parents have differing views or children are unwilling to disclose how they feel. A specialist mediator trained to consult children directly within the mediation process can, if the mediator feels it is appropriate, and both parents agree, be used to consider the wishes and feelings of a child of appropriate age.

This is a voluntary and confidential process for the child with the mediator reporting back to parents only information with the child’s agreement. This process allows the child to have a voice communicated through an independent third party which in turn creates a child focused process.

Using a specialist mediator in the early stages of mediation can save time and costs as it gives parents the definitive voice of the child avoiding uncertainty and the need for court proceedings.


There may be occasions where it is appropriate for your solicitor to be involved in the mediation process alongside you with the mediator talking to you and your solicitor and then talking separately to your former partner and his or her lawyer. This might be because you want immediate support and advice from your solicitor or don’t want to be in the same room as your former partner. Confidences can be kept if you don’t want the mediator to repeat these though not financial information or anything that may risk significant harm to someone. This can often be done in one day rather than over a number of separate shorter meetings.


If you are not sure whether mediation will resolve all issues for you, but you would like to try it, the “MedArb” model may work for you. If mediation doesn’t resolve all the issues then the agreed arbitrator will soon after be able to make a decision. This decision is binding in a similar way to a court order

Making the right choice for you is important to us and we are happy to discuss and work out the most suitable option for you.

If you would like more information or would like to discuss the options on mediation or other alternative dispute resolutions please contact Richard Phillips, Senior Consultant Solicitor, Accredited Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer on 01442 972311 or by email on [email protected] 

Posted by: Richard Phillips
Berkhamsted Office