It is Family Mediation Week (16 to 20 January 2023) where the Family Mediation Council aim to raise awareness of how mediation can help separating couples. Details of how to access the events aimed at the public, lawyers and mediators, can be found on their website (https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/fmw/). 

Family mediation can help with many difficulties arising out of separation, including divorce, financial division, child contact and co-parenting.  It provides a safe independent environment to enable people to discuss and negotiate outcomes.  It is not intended to promote reconciliation, but rather help people separate well and retain control over their own futures. 

Mediation is not for everyone, but it is an option for those separated couples that want to discuss solutions to potential difficulties faced with some encouragement from an independent professional.  There is no-one forcing a certain outcome at mediation, which enables the separating couple to consider what works for them and their circumstances.  No two families are the same after all.

Mediators cannot however provide legal advice.  If legal advice is required, then each person can instruct a solicitor to advise alongside mediation.  This is not a requirement but does ensure that any outcome reached would satisfy potential legal constraints.  For instance, if an agreement on the financial division on divorce of a married couple is reached at mediation, it is not legally binding.  It should therefore be recorded in a Consent Order and filed with the Court as part of the divorce process.  It is advisable to instruct a solicitor to prepare the Consent Order.  They should work with the client to ensure it accurately reflects what was discussed and agreed at mediation.

If you require any assistance in relation to your separation or to discuss how mediation can help you, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team at Streeter Marshall.  In the meantime, we hope Family Mediation Week provides you with some helpful tools on how mediation can help your family.