‘When we face serious family problems, we still usually say to ourselves ‘I must find a solicitor’ but in many (though not all) cases we would do better to say ‘we must find a mediator’
Lord Wilson of Culworth, Supreme Court judge
Here at Bross Bennett we are committed to family mediation as a core part of the service we offer. Family mediation is an alternative to court proceedings and solicitor led negotiation. Its aim is to assist couples who are separating to find ways to resolve their differences together and to retain control over of their decisions whether in relation to parenting or money. It is both cheaper and quicker than any other process. Mediation can work where couples are in what appears to be irresolvable conflict and where all communication has seemingly broken down.
Our mediators are neutral facilitators who ensure that the process is safe and fair.
How mediation works
- Mediation starts with an assessment meeting which you can attend on your own or together. If you attend together then the mediator will still see you separately for part of the meeting.
- Mediation sessions usually last two hours, although longer sessions can be arranged, sometimes lasting a whole day.
- If you need to resolve financial issues you will be required to disclose your finances to each other, and the mediator will draw up a joint financial statement.
- The mediator will give you information about the divorce and separation process but will not give you legal advice. You will be encouraged to have advice from separate solicitors on your proposed agreement before it is finalised. Occasionally, it can help to have your solicitors present or at the end of the telephone during a mediation session.
- If you reach an agreement it will be drafted by the mediator as a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. This document is not legally binding, but it can be turned into a legally binding court order.
- If you wish to discuss mediation further or arrange an assessment meeting please contact Adrian Clarke or his secretary, Jayne Pettet. We also have a female mediator, Caroline Falkus, who can be involved when needed.