What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a way of resolving issues relating to a breakdown in a relationship, whether the separation is amicable or not. The process is voluntary and confidential, with participants remaining in control of the outcome. A mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and helps participants find solutions to their problems, which are tailored to their circumstances. It is also a less stressful and more cost effective option to litigation.

In mediation, both parties are encouraged to communicate openly and listen to each other in order to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. The aim is to find an outcome that reflects the specific situation of each family and is likely to be more durable than an agreement imposed by a judge. In addition, a mediation agreement may be flexible to accommodate changes over time and as the needs of each family change.

A major focus of the process is to try and reduce negative impacts on children. This is usually achieved by focusing on what the family needs are, rather than dwelling on past wrongs and emotional pain. The mediation process can be challenging and the emotions can run high, so it is important to have a support network in place when participating in family mediation.

It is important to be prepared for the session by having pre-written notes of what you would like to say and any relevant documentation. Attending sessions without being fully prepared will limit the progress made. It is also important to be aware that any discussions during the mediation may be influenced by the participants’ emotions, which can lead to heated discussion. This should be acknowledged and managed by the mediator and they are likely to alternate between separate and joint sessions, and may also ask both parties to meet with their new partners, if applicable, to get their perspective on the situation. https://carlisle.lakesmediation.co.uk/