family mediation is a non-confrontational process which aims to support parents in reaching mutually agreeable solutions to issues such as the care of children, financial support and property. It can help couples who have separated or divorced, as well as those who are not married but share a child or children and those who are living together and experiencing relationship difficulties.
A trained mediator will facilitate a discussion between the two parties in dispute, ensuring that both sides are able to voice their opinions and concerns, and assist them in finding solutions through compromise. This can resolve disagreements, which are often caused by high levels of emotion, and prevent acrimony which can cause further damage to families.
Mediation is often a cheaper option than pursuing litigation through the courts. Litigation can involve costs such as lawyer fees, private investigation, expert testimonies and court and filing charges, which add up quickly. Mediation can also save time as it is normally much quicker than a trial, which can be very stressful and cause delay.
It is important to note that no-one in a family case, custody case, visitation case or support case will come away a hundred percent happy. This is because mediation involves compromise and neither side will get exactly what they want. If you are unable to reach an agreement through the mediation process, you should speak to a solicitor who can advise you on what to do next. You can find your nearest solicitor on the Law Society website.