Family Mediation is not...18 Jan 2022 // Insights
Family Partner Victoria Sterritt outlines what Family Mediation is not as part of Family Mediation Week
It's day two of Family Mediation Week, and Victoria Sterritt is back with another overview of Family Mediation; today Victoria explains what Family Mediation is not...
Mediation is a distinct and valuable process in its own right and when engaged in a meaningful manner is a very effective tool to help people to resolve issues following a separation or divorce. Mediation is not a counselling service or an attempt to repair the relationship by reconciliation.
Mediation is about using the process and professional skill set to help parties resolve issues together rather than have a decision enforced upon you. This can and often does involve signposting to other professionals such as financial experts or therapeutic professionals.
Mediation is therefore distinct and separate from both the court process and arbitration. A decision will not be made for you. Instead, an agreed outcome is reached together facilitated by the mediator. Many family mediators are family law professionals and that brings a huge advantage in terms of knowledge and expertise and being able to guide discussions and reality check proposals. However, the mediator adopts a neutral position and does not provide legal advice instead assists and facilitate discussions and the passing of information. Mediation is not a substitute for independent legal advice, a mediator will not act for both parties and will not advise in that capacity.
The role of a mediator is very different to that of a solicitor who will only ever act for one party in resolving family issues. Any outcome in mediation is not in itself legally binding but an agreement can then be converted into an order to be endorsed by the Court where necessary.
More information on Family Mediation Week can be found on Family Mediation Council.
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