Mediation - Finding a solution that works
What is mediation?
When couples separate, emotions can often hinder difficult issues being discussed. Mediation is a process that is designed to help people reach an early agreement, with the minimum of cost, delay and confrontation. It can ease the pain of a family breakdown or separation, encourages people to be open and discuss the implications of their separation calmly, reducing tension, hostility and in many cases avoids very expensive legal fees. It is particularly helpful where children are involved and it is vital their parents are able to calmly communicate with each other for their benefit in the future.
What do mediators do?
Mediators do not act for either person as a lawyer might. They do not seek to impose solutions but will provide impartial guidance to help people make the choices that meet the needs of their own individual circumstances. It can help resolve almost any aspect of a relationship breakdown and can play an essential role in minimising the impact of a separation on couples and their children.
What is the aim of mediation?
The aim of the collaborative law approach is for couples to reach an early agreement with the help of their solicitors, who will all meet and work together to find the best solution for them. For couples who seek a fair agreement for them both and their children, the collaborative approach allows open discussions with solicitors present who are committed to helping them find an agreement. The solicitors will provide legal advice to the person they represent but will sign an agreement which prevents them from representing that person in court if the process breaks down. This ensures they are committed to making the process work.
What are the benefits?
Mediation and collaboration both aim, in their different ways, to help separating couples resolve their difficulties and can potentially save a great deal of time and, in some cases, many thousands of pounds in legal fees. It is important for any person who wishes to try either approach that they deal with an experienced family mediator or trained collaborative lawyer. Resolution is a specialist family law group and its members are experienced family lawyers. A Resolution accredited mediator or collaborative lawyer will have the knowledge, experience and ability to deal with the most complex of issue arising out of a relationship breakdown.
Paul Owen is a Resolution accredited mediator. If you have any questions on mediation or collaborative law please contact him on 01442 200105.