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Mediation : Separating Together

 

Family Mediation is today being hailed as the way forward to resolving all forms of family disputes be it Children Arrangements , Divorce, Separation or Financial distribution of joint resources. However Mediation has been around since the late 1980’s so whats so different now?

Mediation can be described as the common sense way of resolving family disputes. The majority of individuals seeking legal advice on Separation has the capacity to work through the dispute with their ex. However unfortunately but naturally the biggest obstacle preventing parties from doing this in a separation context is the emotional baggage that is brought to the table and NOT any legal technicality.

Mediation not only helps to provide Legal information and guidance to a family dispute but also helps to manage the emotions brought to the process, helping the participants to focus on the real agenda namely seeking a resolution to the dispute to hand.

Mediation provides a safe forum to be open and transparent with each other. It enables you to be heard and to listen. Important acknowledgements can be made here often in such a way that can never be achieved through separate legal representation. Parents can focus on putting aside their own issues to focus on preparing a parenting plan outlining the new ground rules and terms and conditions of their new parenting relationship managing the way they are to communicate with each other , the children’s arrangements and even discipline ensuring there are no misunderstandings or assumptions being made these often being the cause of conflict.

So if mediation is so good why is it only now that the Government are promoting it?

Most legislation managing Divorce and Children arrangements emanate from old statutes such as the Childrens Act 1989, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or even as far back as 1882 with the Married Women’s Property Act.

Society has changed a lot in this time and a lot of research has been undertaken upon the impact the litigious route has on Children experiencing their parents conflict. The statistics do not make good reading. Such children are more likely to suffer Depression , alcohol and drug abuse truancy and poor qualifications and more. This then stays with them into adulthood. The Government therefore have had no option but to review and completely overhaul the Family Law System via the Family and Children Act 2014 together with other associated legislation the majority of which came into force today.

Consequently anyone looking to instigate a court process relating to A family matter must attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting before proceedings can be issued ( unless you fall within one of the exemptions)If mediation is deemed not appropriate then the Mediator will provide you with an appropriate certificate confirming this. This certificate must be lodged with your application for it to be issued. Without this your application will be refused.

For more information contact our Mediator Helen Pittard at Helen.pittard@174law.co.uk or 01516477372