Family Mediation


Family Mediation is ideally a process of dissolving your marriage in a non-adversarial, amicable and indeed civilised manner.

It has been popular in America for a long time where perhaps Mediators are seen as more established figures. Meanwhile pioneers such as Lisa Parkinson established and promoted Family Mediation practices from the 1970s in the UK and today Family Mediation has proliferated  into a very mainstream option with a huge range of choice of provider.

If is frequently utilised on breakdown of relationship, divorce and deciding where the children will live and what the parenting or indeed contact arrangements will be both now and particularly how contact may evolve following on from commitment and trust being reestablished between parents.

Many umbrella organisations and professional mediation  services operate throughout the UK with a vast range of information and advice so for many seeking legal support, or indeed therapeutic  support, mediation is now both a popular and a positive option with a good range of suppliers to choose from.

Family Mediation can help you progress agreement on breakdown of relationship, or indeed divorce, either in respect of arrangements for your children or alternatively how to divide matrimonial assets.

Family Mediators have to be properly trained, accredited and regulated but in family work come from different backgrounds. Some may be therapists or counsellors and indeed others could have purely legal backgrounds and be highly experienced family law solicitors or family law barristers.

Your choice however in instructing a Family Mediator needs to be appropriately researched, particularly if a breakdown of relationship involves complex or indeed substantial financial assets and financial disclosure is of paramount importance.

Because Mediation provides you with an opportunity to negotiate your own settlement on the assumption that the decision to separate and/or divorce has already been made, it can be a civilized, cost effective and dignified way of dealing with matters.

However it is important to emphasise that it is NOT an alternative to obtaining legal advice as it is not the role of the mediator to provide this. Legal advice may need to be taken between mediation sessions, not to compete with the mediation process, but to ensure that the possibilities discussed in mediation are properly understood and fully explained, with the full legal implications totally grasped before final agreement is reached.

Therapists and counsellors may provide great therapeutic relief in discussing the anguish and distress surrounding the breakdown of a marriage and or sensitive issues concerning  parenting. No one either would suggest that these are matters which lawyers can cost effectively or indeed practically best assist with.

An experienced solicitor or experienced barrister will though need to have involvement  in both legally and commercially evaluating a high value financial settlement both in terms of appropriate financial disclosure and in terms of reality testing a complete understanding and consent before draft proposals and discussions are finally formalised in any formal consent order to be submitted to the family court.

Also, Family Mediation will never be appropriate where there has been any history of domestic violence, bullying, abuse, extreme manipulation or blatant dishonesty. It requires the couple to work together in a fair, open minded and honest environment, so realistically will have little prospect of achieving a good outcome where there has been either an acrimonious history or inability to trust or indeed a genuine fear of the other.

Our Jane Williams is a Resolution Accredited Mediator  and can provide full information in respect of our full range or Mediation Services or indeed alternatively, expert legal advice in relation to ongoing Family Mediation.

For more information about Family Law mediation from Jane contact our Cardiff offices on 02920388398 or contact her directly for an initial consultation or with your query j.williams@sinclairslaw.co.uk

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