This week is family mediation week (18 to 22 January 2021). Our Family Team at Sinclair Gibson is committed to resolving cases, whether complex financial cases or children cases, in the most cost effective and conflict-free way.
Mediation is one of the most popular and successful alternatives to the court process in resolving family disputes.
Mediators assist separating families in addressing, narrowing and ultimately resolving all manner of issues faced by families. Mediators are neutral and will help identify the issues that need to be resolved and listen to what each person says. This is important and has the aim of helping individuals to make important decisions, by agreement and together, about the future.
Mediation can be done jointly or conducted in separate sessions. During lockdown almost all mediations sessions will be conducted remotely via zoom, facetime, Microsoft teams or by telephone. This offers the advantage of avoiding the cost and time lost in travel and allows parties to participate from the comfort of their own homes. It also allows for more flexibility, which can be vital where there are work and childcare commitments. There can of course be the risk of technical glitches but after almost a year of remote working for many, this is easily minimised with the necessary preparation and having an alternative platform available if necessary.
We often advise and guide our clients throughout the mediation process as their discussions are ongoing to ensure that any proposed outcome is fair and no important issues have been overlooked and that it is finalised in accordance with the legal formalities required.
While mediation is not for every case, it is certainly worth considering in most cases. In almost all cases it will be necessary to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before filing an application with the Court in any event. The MIAM is an excellent opportunity to find out whether the mediation process is right for you and your circumstances. Mediation can often be the most cost effective and timely path to resolution and, importantly, allows the parties to retain control of their future. It is a process which is known to work, with agreement reached in over 70% of cases*.
Further information on mediation can be found on the family mediation week website, here: http://www.familymediationweek.org.uk/
If you would like to discuss your case and/or the use of mediation, please contact our Family Team here: https://sinclairgibson.com/practice-areas/team/family
*Family Mediation Council statistics.