If you need help and support to resolve family disputes on separation or divorce, Whitehead Monckton offers expert family mediation services, an alternative to typical court proceedings which can often become a confrontational, and costly, legal process.
In family mediation, couples meet together with an agenda which is assisted by a neutral third party known as the ‘mediator.’ The mediator will help to find a sensible and practical solution that you both feel comfortable with and deem to be fair.
If you are considering divorce or separation we can act as an impartial mediator to sort out arrangements for the future by agreement. We can advise on a wide range of issues from how to divide assets and finances, to the living arrangements of children involved with divorce or separation.
We can help in all areas of family mediation, including:
- Future parenting arrangements including child custody, residency or contact arrangements
- Financial arrangements including child maintenance
- Arrangements for property, savings, debts, trusts and pensions
- Divorce arrangements
Our family mediation lawyers will act impartially and avoid any conflict of interest to ensure the fairest outcome is achieved for everyone involved, with particular attention to the futures of any children involved.
We will seek to come to a solution without the intervention from the courts, helping to avoid and prevent unnecessary disputes in divorce and separation.
As a neutral third party, our family mediation lawyers cannot give you advice other than information about the relevant law. If you feel you need legal advice during your mediation, you must seek guidance from your appointed solicitor.
If you are considering family mediation, our solicitors will arrange a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to establish whether mediation is a suitable solution based on your circumstances and whether the process will be successful in reaching an agreement.
If you do proceed with family mediation, additional sessions will be arranged based on an agenda and we will help to structure the discussions to come to a sensible and practical solution.
Generally speaking, the judge will expect you to consider mediation before applying to the court for a hearing.
If you are not comfortable to be in the same room as your ex-partner, as the mediator, we can arrange separate meetings where we can speak to you alone and discuss your proposals with your ex-partner on a separate occasion.
All discussions that take place during mediation will be completely confidential between you and your family mediation solicitor.
Mediation can take anywhere between a number of weeks or months depending on the number of sessions you need. It is entirely dependent on your own unique circumstances and the issues which need to be decided upon.
In the event that an agreement is reached which you both feel comfortable with and consider fair, the mediator will summarise this in a written document which will be sent to you both as well as your solicitors. Your solicitor can then advise you on the appropriate legal formalities to ensure your proposals become legally binding.
What are the benefits of mediation?
There are many benefits associated with family mediation, including:
- Reduced tension and hostility. As a less stressful and confrontational alternative to a court proceeding, mediation can reduce tensions and hostility between you and your ex-partner.
- Being able to express feelings in a secure environment. Mediation is completely confidential and allows you to express your feelings openly.
- Ensuring decisions are informed. In court proceedings, a judge will make decisions for you which you may not necessarily be happy with. During mediation, additional efforts are made to understand your unique circumstances and ensure outcomes are informed by your own perspective and goals.
- Solutions are tailored to your circumstances. Mediators will work with you to consider the needs of the children and propose solutions which have the best interests at heart for everyone involved.
- Quicker and cheaper than court proceedings. Mediation can be quicker and cheaper than most court proceedings because it can help resolve any issues in a few sessions.
If you would like to discuss your circumstances with one of our family mediation lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact our Maidstone, Tenterden, Canterbury and Canary Wharf solicitors or call us today on 01622 698000.