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What are the benefits of family mediation?

What are the benefits of family mediation?

Wednesday 27th September 2017

For people that have decided to separate, divorce or are trying to deal with changes in family relationships, mediation is an invaluable tool in helping to reach an agreement.

Mediators are trained to help discuss and reach an agreement on the best arrangements for the future. This may be about access and contact for your children, your financial arrangements or the practicalities of how life will work going forward. A good mediator will listen to you, find out what is important to you and assist in making choices and decisions about the best way forward: decisions that are practical and work for everyone, including your children.

Mediation can be especially helpful where parents need to sort out arrangements regarding their children even though they will no longer be living together. If you are a parent, a skilled mediator can help you focus on what is best for your children, so you are more likely to reach an agreement that ensures their future security and happiness. Access and contact arrangements and financial support are all matters that need to be discussed and agreed upon.

So why does mediation work?

Mediation works because it:

• Helps you make informed decisions that are right for your circumstances, your future and the future of your children, without resorting to asking the courts to make the decisions for you.

• Provides somewhere to talk safely, calmly and privately.

• It is much cheaper than using solicitors and the courts.

• Mediation is a much faster process than ending up in the court system which can drag on for months and years

Another problematic area that can benefit hugely from mediation, is where grandparents are being denied access to their grandchildren. It is widely recognised that grandparents can play an extremely important role in children's lives and that is certainly acknowledged by the courts.

The government says that -

'Access for grandparents to their grandchildren should initially be sought through agreement with the parents or carers of the child. However, where this cannot be agreed, the grandparent can seek the leave of the court and if successful, apply for a child arrangements order to agree access.'

They go on to say that mediation is, without doubt, the best, quickest and most cost-effective way of reaching an agreement and should - indeed must- be attempted before resorting to the courts.