Hewetts Solicitors in Reading Support Family Mediation Week By Offering Free Pre-Mediation Consultation By Phone.

Family Mediation Week starts on Monday 18th of January. The Family Mediation Council uses it to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively.

If you’ve just split-up, you’re thinking of getting a divorce, or dissolving a civil partnership, or you’ve been separated for a while or just separating, you might need to sort out arrangements with your ex and other family members.

Family mediation can be a way of sorting out arrangements without the cost of going to court.

What is Family Mediation and how does it work?

Family mediation is where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex to work out an agreement about issues such as:

  • Parenting arrangements for children after you break up
  • Child maintenance payments
  • Finances and Property (for example your house, savings, pension, or debts)

Madeleine Young at Hewetts Solicitors in Reading explains;

“As a family mediator, we try to reach out to parents before they turn to the law. Mediation is a great way to offer early support to separating parents. We normally start this through something called a MIAM, which is an information and assessment meeting, which then lays the groundwork for the mediation.”

“As well as covering things like children, finances and property, it can also be used to help with the other issues, such as your children keeping in touch with their grandparents, step families, or in-laws.”

“Another reason why Mediation can be good is that it can be helpful when arrangements you’ve made before need to change, particularly as your children grow up.”

“Without mediation it’s often the case that couples end up in court. That’s sometimes problematic because the judge makes decisions. It can end up with neither party getting what they want and left feeling very unsatisfied with arrangements.”

Mediation is not legally binding unless you want it to be.

“Separating couples often feel that mediation allows them to stay in control. Nobody can make you do anything you don’t want to do. A trained and skilled mediator helps find a solution which works for both parties. When a consensus is reached, the mediator can then explain how to make this agreement legally binding.”

In any case, couples who choose to go to court may be better off going through mediation anyway says Madeleine.

“A judge usually expects you to have at least considered mediation before you apply to a court to hear your case. It’s not a well-known fact that they can actually refuse to hear your case unless you have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).”

“The good news is that most people who start mediation do reach agreement, without having to go to court. And at the end of the day, when you do need to formally end a marriage or civil partnership, whilst you will need to apply to the court to do this, with mediation having taken place, you don’t usually have to attend a hearing.”

To speak to Madeleine Young about Family Mediation or any family law matter, please call her on 0118 957 5337 for your free consultation or email M.Young@Hewetts.co.uk

Published on 18/01/2021

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