A new initiative to provide free family mediation will give many couples in England and Wales a non-confrontational way of resolving their own problems after they separate. A free government-funded mediation session for both people involved in a separation was made available from 3rd November 2014. The session will be provided free even if just one of the couple qualifies for legal aid.
Mediation in a nutshell
• To help sort out disputes when you are separating or divorcing.
• Helps you work out what happens after you split up (it won’t get you and your partner
• Mediators are highly trained professionals.
• Meetings will normally last 1-2 hours. The mediator will talk to both you and your ex-partner
separately and/or together.
• The mediator will listen to you and your ex-partner and will try and help you reach a practical
solution moving forward.
• Arrangements can be reviewed and changed if you both agree.
• Discussions remain completely confidential.
• Agreements can be made legally binding by a court if both you and your ex-partner agree.
• Children can be included in discussions at the discretion of the mediator and if both parties agree.
• Mediation may not be suitable for cases involving domestic violence between the parties or sexual
Mediation v Court:
• Less stressful than the court process (for you and your family)
• Produces long-term workable solutions because:
• Arrangements over children, property and finances are chosen by you (rather than a judge)
• 7 out of 10 people able to reach full agreement
Couples can be apprehensive about mediation but there are many positive benefits to this method of resolving disputes, as outlined above. You may even achieve more in the sessions than you initially thought, so, if you are considering mediation, it may be worth a try.
If you are facing separation in Chichester, West Sussex; Alton, Hampshire; or surrounding areas, please call for a free confidential chat to discuss your legal options.