What is Family Mediation and How Can it Help?

11 November 2021
Family disputes and breakdowns can cause a lot of stress and pain, especially if there’s children involved. Mediation is often the best route forward when attempting to resolve a situation and reach an agreement amicably. We explore what family mediation is and how you can benefit from it.
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Regardless of your individual circumstances, we understand that family law proceedings can be complex, confusing and can cause a great deal of stress and worry. Our team of family law specialists have a great deal of experience in providing effective legal advice and services to help families reach a positive resolution.

What is Family Mediation? 

Family mediation is a process that helps families work together to resolve disputes, negotiate about arrangements for children, and allows them to voice any concerns and issues. An impartial mediator will be present at each meeting and will be there to listen to each individual and will help the parties reach an agreement with unbiased advice. A mediator will not tell the parties what to do but they strive to improve communication between everyone involved. 

Why Choose Family Mediation?

Mediation is often considerably less stressful and much more straightforward than attending court. Generally, it’s strongly recommended that families try to resolve any disputes and issues through mediation services before taking it further. Family mediation is proven to help all members of the family and can actually be useful in maintaining relationships. 

How Can Family Mediation Help? 

Family mediators have a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting families through a wide range of issues. Some of these issues might include divorce, separation and childcare arrangements. You’ll find that there are plenty of advantages that come with choosing family mediation. Here are some of the benefits of family mediation…
  • Cost-effective way of dealing with family disputes 
  • Can reduce stress 
  • Helps families deal with sensitive matters effectively 
  • Improves communication and relationships
  • You may resolve the issue without going to court 

What Happens at Family Mediation?

During family mediation, the mediator will often try to find common ground between the parties. A mediator will take your individual circumstances into consideration and will aim to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. You might find that it might take more than one session to reach an agreement. Once an agreement has been reached, a ‘memorandum of understanding’ will be created to ensure that everyone is clear on what has been agreed. 

When is Family Mediation Necessary? 

Mediation is recommended when families find it difficult to reach an agreement on a particular situation. Most commonly, mediation is used when parents are struggling to agree on making suitable arrangements for children after a family breakdown. Since April 2014, couples who apply to the courts for assistance in resolving disputes about children, or their finances, will be required to show that they have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). 

What is a MIAM? 

A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is the first meeting with a qualified family mediator. This confidential meeting aims to determine whether your issues can be resolved without attending court. The impartial mediator will provide you with information about the options available and will discuss all you need to know about a non-court resolution. They’ll present the advantages and disadvantages to all options available. 

Here at John Fowlers Solicitors, we’re proud to have over 90 years experience serving families across the region. Our team of family lawyers take pride in delivering specialist family law support and advice. Get in touch with our team of experts today and find out how we can help you. 

Have an enquiry? Speak to our expert team of solicitors in Essex today.