This week is Family Mediation Week – a fixture in the calendar that aims to raise awareness of what mediation is and how it can help families going through a divorce or separation resolve any issues or disputes in as amicable a way as possible.
Mediation can help make divorces and separations less stressful and save couples significant amounts of time and money.
Couples who have decided to end their relationship spend time with an independent and professionally trained mediator to work out the best way forward. The aim is for both parties to suggest and agree to arrangements concerning the custody and care of any children, as well as property and financial matters.
Mediation can also help couples who have already divorced but want to make changes to their existing arrangements.
If the mediation process is successful, it avoids family disputes ending up in court, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. And the presence of a mediator can also help avoid discussions becoming hostile.
It is particularly useful for couples who are finding it difficult to reach an amicable agreement themselves, but who are keen to avoid a costly court case. However, according to the Family Mediation Council (FMC), many people don’t realise that mediation is an option and end up going straight to solicitors to resolve any issues.
Figures from the FMC show that mediation has a successful outcome in seven out of 10 cases. The process is usually quicker than going to court and, if you are eligible, you can get legal aid to help cover the costs.
During Family Mediation Week, the FMC has organised a series of events to make people more aware of the mediation process, including virtual coffee mornings and webinars.
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