Our family law mediation service offers an alternative way to resolve the issues that arise when a relationship breaks down. It is a process whereby a couple will meet with the family mediator to talk through the issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship to encourage the couples to find solutions, decide whether they would work in practice, and come to an agreement about what is best - whether this is in relation to arrangements for their children or financial matters. Our family mediation service is provided by an team of family mediators who are experts in their field.
What sort of issues can be addressed in family mediation?
- The process of separation or divorce
- The timescale; and
- How to manage the separation
- How the children will spend time with each parent and where they will live, go to school and any other issues which may be relevant.
- Financial issues – property, maintenance, pensions and any other financial issues arising.
How does family mediation work?
- You and your partner will need to contact us to discuss the family mediation process. We will explain about the process and send you an information form to complete and return before the first meeting to ensure that you will both feel safe and comfortable discussing issues face to face.
- We will explain at the outset the basis upon which we charge. The costs of the family mediator are shared between the couple and as such family mediation may cost significantly less than the court process.
- If family mediation is the right option for you then generally you will have a number of sessions with one of our family mediators, the amount will vary depending upon the issues. During these sessions you will explore options for resolving issues to help you reach an agreement.
What can be the benefits of family mediation?
Our Family Law Mediation service helps people to:
- Exchange views and information
- Listen and be heard, and communicate with each other. This is very important where there are children of the relationship.
- Couples can resolve conflict in a positive way and reach solutions which suit the family’s needs, not necessarily what a court may impose upon them.
- Less stressful and time consuming.
- It is a cost effective process and avoids costly court proceedings
- Where there are financial issues to resolve you will provide disclosure of your financial circumstances to one another during the process.
- You are both free to consult your own legal advisor at any time to take advice on what is best for you or any areas of concerns to you during the process.
- You will have a number of sessions depending upon the complexity of the issues (generally three to six) one and a half hour sessions with the mediator and at the conclusion of the case if an agreement is reached this will be set out in writing, although this is not legally binding each party would be encouraged to see their legal advisor who can then formalise the agreement, if appropriate, into a court order.
Family mediation is not just for separating couples. It is regularly used to resolve issues within families involving grandparents, step parents and extended family members.
Please email Debbie or Roopa (our family mediators) providing your post code, if you are interested in using the Birketts Family Law Mediation Service or would like further information on family mediation. We provide family mediation in all of our four offices - Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich or Norwich.