What is National Family Mediation Week?
Organised by the Family Mediation Council, working with Resolution, National Family Mediation Week (which took place this year between 17th January 2022 – 21st January 2022) is an opportunity to raise awareness of family mediation, and the benefits this can bring to families during an often emotional and confusing time.
Cotswold Family Law actively works with Mediators, referring clients to Mediation services where it is believed Mediation can be an important tool for our clients to assist them in reaching agreements regarding financial settlements, or child arrangements, which can arise as result of the breakdown of a marriage or relationship. We have attended numerous helpful and insightful webinars during this week and been involved in discussions that we hope will better assist our clients in making the most of this resource and allowing them to move forward in a positive and family focused way.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process, where an independent mediator can assist separating parties to come to a mutual agreement for their children, or finances, following the breakdown of the relationship. The mediator will help find a solution which works for both parties, but cannot provide legal advice (although, they sometimes will be a lawyer), so it is recommended that alongside attending the mediation sessions, parties also speak to a solicitor.
Mediation can be a flexible option allowing parties to maintain control of discussions and decision making. Mediation can also be tailored to suit the needs of the individual parties, with options available for shuttle mediation (where parties are in different rooms and the mediator ‘shuttles’ from room to room), face to face mediation, or video sessions, which are much more commonplace now, following the pandemic. There is also the option, during Mediation, to include children, where appropriate and this will be the subject of a separate blog shortly.
However, an agreement reached through the mediation process is not legally binding, so it is important that once you have reached an agreement, you seek legal advice on the agreement and implementing it in an appropriate court format
For more information, please visit the Family Mediation Council (FMC) website and you can find your nearest FMC accredited mediator in their directory.
Mediation Voucher Scheme:
It was also announced during National Family Mediation Week that the Government Mediation Voucher Scheme has been extended until March 2022, to allow a great number of people to benefit from the scheme which provide vouchers towards the costs of mediation. Visit the Government Mediation Voucher Scheme web page.
If you would like to discuss mediation options, or any other family issue with our team, and take advantage of our free half hour consultation call us on 01608 686590 or send us an email.