Family Mediation is a cost efficient and effective way of dealing with the consequences of relationship breakdown, and is supported by the Ministry of Justice as an alternative to resolving issues through the family courts. The key features are:
- Mediation is voluntary for you as clients, and for the mediator. You can withdraw from mediation should you choose to do so.
- Mediation is confidential. What is discussed in mediation is called “legally privileged”. This means that it cannot be used by the court or your solicitor outside of the mediation process. The exceptions are (1) if there are concerns of harm to children, or (2) if financial disclosure suggests assets are the result of proceeds of crime.
- Mediation is quicker than going through the family court. On average all issues mediation lasts between 5-6 sessions, 4-5 for property and finance and 1-3 for child contact only cases.
- Mediation is an impartial, balanced process that focuses on working with you to reach agreements that are acceptable to you both.
- Mediation does not provide legal advice. However your mediator will, with your agreement, identify when legal advice may be helpful and can give broad advice on how the courts view similar situations.
- Mediation does not make decisions for you. The process is intended to support and guide you to reach agreement that is acceptable to you both. This requires you to actively seek solutions through cooperation and improved communication.