Navigating Family Conflicts: The Ultimate Guide to Family Mediation Services

  • Posted on

Family mediation for divorce can be an efficient and cost-effective way to find a resolution to disagreements after a relationship has broken down.

Simon Hawkins, Associate Solicitor and Family mediator at WSP Solicitors takes us through his ultimate guide to WSP’s Family mediation service.

How can a family mediator help me?

When a relationship breaks down it can be a very difficult time for all involved and brings with it uncertainty and change.  It can be difficult to talk to your ex-partner and even more difficult to discuss and agree those important practical decisions that need to be made, such as what will happen to the home, how are you going to afford to live, what will happen to the family savings, your pensions and debts, what is going to happen to the children, how will they be cared for and how will you co parent etc.

However, you are likely to end up with a far better outcome for your family if you work together with your ex-partner to agree a solution.

A Family Mediator can help you have these discussions with your ex-partner and make the process less complicated.  Family Mediation offers a safe environment, where with the support of the mediator you and your ex-partner can discuss the issues that are important to you, consider different solutions and together agree a way forward.

The role of family mediation

The mediator’s job is to act as an impartial third party.  They facilitate the meetings to enable you to constructively explore feelings, solutions, and exchange information.  This allows you both to work towards resolving the issues.

The mediator has no power to impose a settlement.  Mediation is self-determining which means you and your partner are responsible for reaching a decision.

A mediator cannot advise you about which option is best but can help you explore the different options so you can arrive at a solution that works best for your family.  If you require legal or other expert advice (for example tax advice) then the mediator can sign post you to the appropriate services.

Why Choose Professional Family Mediation Services for Your Dispute Resolution

  • You are in control

Family mediation allows you and your ex-partner to discuss the issues that are important to you.  It allows you to explore solutions and arrive at an agreement that you both feel best meets the needs of your family.  You and your ex-partner choose when you want the sessions to take place, how many sessions are needed and the pace of those sessions.

Mediation is voluntary so if at any stage you feel uncomfortable or that the process is not working you can stop the process.

By contrast the more traditional approach using a solicitor and/or the court takes away that control.  The court will decide the issues to be discussed, the timetable and speed of the hearing and ultimately the outcome.

  • Less stress and better communication

As mediation is voluntary and the goal is for you to work together to reach a solution the outcome can often seem fairer.  At court often the parties are left with a sense that one party has “won” and the other “lost”.

At court the procedure can often feel very formal, disjointed and the process is controlled by the judge rather than the parties.  In mediation the discussion will take place in a more relaxed environment, where you will both be encouraged to share ideas.  Mediation is confidential so you have the security that you can share ideas without repercussions, which is not the case with court submissions and negotiations via solicitors.

The mediation environment allows the you both to have your say, reduce conflict and be in control of the discussion, which is more likely to result in a mutually beneficial agreement.

  • Much more Accessible

In 2021 there were 265,698 Family Court cases started and an average wait of between 12-16 weeks for a first hearing.  In contrast all you and your ex-partner need to do to start mediation is call WSP and arrange a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting).  Once your MIAM is complete mediation can begin.

  • More cost effective.

The average cost of mediation around £1,000.00 per persons, although the final costs will depend on how many sessions you have.  The average cost of divorce through the courts was £14,561.00 in 2021.  Mediation is a very cost-efficient way of resolving disputes.

In summary mediation is quicker, less stressful, more cost efficient and more accessible than court.  Mediation allows the parties to take control of the process and arrive at their own decisions.

What is a MIAM

A MIAM is the abbreviation for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, which is your first meeting in the mediation process.

You and your partner will each have your own MIAM.  It is your chance to tell the mediator about your situation and what you would like to achieve from the mediation process.

The mediator will use the meeting to explain the process and answer any questions you may have.

At the end of the MIAM the mediator will tell you if your matter is suitable for mediation and you will then decide if you wish to proceed with mediation.

For expert support with mediation, please contact your local WSP family law solicitors in Gloucester or Stroud today.

If you have a quick question about our family mediation services, or would like to request a callback, you can also use our simple online enquiry form.


    Get in touch

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can