Family mediation is a way of helping people with their family issues, whether those involved are divorcing or separated. It involves meeting with a trained, impartial mediator who aids discussions between the participants, aiming to help them reach an agreement that best suits their circumstances.
The participants can be in the same room or separate, and lawyers can attend mediation sessions if they wish. The mediator will ask each participant to collect and provide information to help them understand their situation, and the broad context within which they are operating. It may also be helpful for the mediator to meet with children of the participants to get a sense of their perspective on the matters in dispute.
During mediation, the mediator will assist the participants in working through all the issues, considering their options, and negotiating different ways forward. If an agreement can be reached, the mediator will draft a document known as a ‘memorandum of understanding’, which both parties will sign.
It is important to remember that mediation is a voluntary process, and any outcome of the process will not be binding on a court. If a resolution cannot be reached, the participants should speak to a solicitor, who can advise them on their options going forward. For further information on mediation, you can visit the Law Society website to find your nearest solicitor. The Law Society also offers a free telephone helpline for enquiries. The number is 0845 434 6000.https://derbyshire.lakesmediation.co.uk/