Separations and divorces can be damaging for the children involved if family mediation isn’t part of the process. As a result, family mediation is now mandatory for couples going through a separation.
It’s clear that any type of separation can have a negative impact on the children caught in the middle as there will likely be arguments and discussions around the division of assets and childcare arrangements. Therefore, in order to better protect children involved in a separation, the government now supports compulsory family mediation with the aim of avoiding the damaging effects of the courtroom environment.
Professional mediators are trained to work with couples whose relationship has broken down and work to negotiate future arrangements by acting as a neutral third party. With family mediation now mandatory for couples going through a separation, we thought it necessary to take you through the process in a bit more detail.
What is Family Mediation and how does it work?
Family mediation is part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) family and can help couples to resolve financial, parenting and property issues if relations are unresolvable.
Now that the proceedings are court-mandated for specific couples who have no record of previous domestic abuse, it is an important stage of many separations.
The process begins with an initial appointment where a couple can put issues forward to a mediator or solicitor to discuss during the rest of the proceedings.
Then, a joint mediation will take place where each person within the couple will be individually represented and the larger issues can be discussed in more depth.
These issues may include any changes to maintenance or child care arrangements, financial disclosure and short-term financial arrangements and more specific issues such as schooling, relocation and introduction to new partners.
Family mediation will end in one of two ways – either an agreement can be reached during the final meeting, or the remaining issues will be elevated to court.
How mediation can help you
Family mediation meetings provide a safe environment to resolve issues and disagreements without the introduction of a long and costly court proceeding.
Smaller group discussions can be particularly helpful when couples are unable to agree on parenting issues such as child maintenance, child arrangements and child-inclusive mediation. This can help to ensure that children involved in the separation process are protected and their day-to-day lives are disturbed as little as possible. Alongside this, the mediation process is useful for organising the division of assets, financial disclosure, spousal maintenance and short-term financial and living arrangements.
Then as the separation process continues, the use of mediation as an ongoing method of communication can assist in future issues between couples such as resolving child custody or maintenance issues.
How can ICS Law help?
Accredited by the Law Society, we guarantee that we will provide you with the very best legal advice, whatever your family mediation circumstance.
ICS Law can support you during your mediation and separation process by offering:
- Legal representation in court
- Legal aid
- Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
- Child arrangements
- Parental rights, fathers’ rights, and grandparents’ rights
If you need mediation advice or would like some more information about the proceedings, get in touch with our expert team today.