Family mediation is a court-approved process to help families settle disputes. It helps couples understand each other’s needs, interests and issues and explore settlement options.
It’s a chance for both parties to communicate in a way that’s easier on their children. It decreases hostility and can help them move on.
It also gives parents more room to create custom solutions that suit their unique situations rather than simply having to accept a judge’s ruling. And when people craft their own resolutions, they are more likely to stick with them.
Mediation sessions can take place in person or over video call, and are normally held at times that suit both parties. The agenda for each session is broadly dictated by the parties to mediation, with guidance from their mediator. The mediator will normally pay particular attention to the welfare needs of any children.
All communications in mediation are confidential. If an agreement is reached, the mediator will write a ‘memorandum of understanding’ that both parties will receive a copy of.
Some families prefer a formal memorandum, while others prefer something less structured, such as a meeting summary or an email exchange. If an agreement isn’t reached, the mediator will report back to the court and the case may be required to go to trial.
The government has launched a new voucher scheme to support the cost of family mediation, for people with eligible cases. To apply, people should visit the Family Mediation website and find a mediator in their area through MediatorSelect. https://carlisle.lakesmediation.co.uk/