Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without need for costly contested court proceedings. It involves using an independent third party – a specialist family mediator – to help the parties reach a fair and acceptable outcome.
LMP were at the forefront of the movement towards mediation. Simon Pigott was chair of the Family Mediators’ Association for two years (1995 – 1997) and remains today one of its leading proponents.
Mediation is a voluntary process and can only take place if you and your spouse/partner agree. Confidential discussions are not disclosed outside the mediation, nor can they be referred to in Court proceedings. There is, however, no such thing as confidential financial disclosure.
If you are unable to reach agreement in mediation, you can still rely on other types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (for example Private FDRs or Arbitration) or the Court system.
You normally share the cost of mediation, which will vary depending on the issues to be discussed, and the time to be invested in the process. You can consider engaging in mediation at any stage – even before entering the court process. The mediator remains impartial and neutral throughout.
Mediation is certainly not an easy option. You may not have seen or spoken to each other for some time and there may be difficult emotional and/or complex financial issues to deal with in the course of the mediation.
Parties in mediation have to work hard to reach a solution that works for them and their family, and it is the role of the specialist family mediator to facilitate those discussions.
At the end of the mediation process, the mediator will produce a summary of your decisions. This summary can be used by your respective solicitors to form the basis of a binding agreement or Court Order.
Mediation has many benefits:
- enabling you to retain responsibility for your life and ownership of important decisions;
- reducing hostility, bitterness and misunderstandings;
- improving communication between yourselves; and
- promoting positive co-parenting.
Where necessary mediation focuses on the needs of children to achieve sensible, lasting and workable arrangements.
For more information about mediation please contact Simon Pigott: [email protected]