What are the benefits of family mediation?
Sarah French | 21.01.2019
22.01.2019 Sarah French
Generally, the issues you face upon a divorce or separation are threefold: legal; emotional and financial. Mediation is a bespoke flexible process which can accommodate all skillsets needed to cover these issues.
I am a family law solicitor as well as a family mediator and therefore I am able to give my mediation clients legal information, and they can take advice from their solicitors alongside the process whenever they choose.
Where there are significant emotional issues, perhaps due to mental health problems, domestic abuse allegations or a really significant breakdown in communications, I will co-mediate with family consultant Karen Morley of Better Life Coaching (https://www.betterlifecoaching.co.uk/). Karen explains her co-mediation role as follows:
“Clients can be hampered in the mediation process by emotional, behavioural, psychological and communicational issues. They are also very prone to keep referring to past events and behaviours that have upset them. My role is to iron out these problems, to keep them focused on the process and looking forward, to ensure that each person feels listened to, understood and comfortable. I help to guide them through the discussions, watching and listening to pick up on any disruptive elements and then to help resolve them”.
Sometimes there are pension or tax questions which impact upon the decisions the couple consider making to achieve an overall financial settlement. Consequently it is helpful to bring into the session a financial consultant who is accredited with Resolution, the family professionals’ governing body. Accredited financial consultant Mike Caffyn of The Retirement Planning Partnership (http://www.trpp.co.uk/) explains his role in the mediation process as follows:
“The way that the financial aspects are dealt with can be complicated. Pensions in particular normally need to be shared, but the way that different pension schemes deal with it can be very different, and the effects on the future are important to understand.
A financial consultant can also offer advice on mortgages, life cover, and can show the ongoing effect of the choices that are available for the couple to consider, and make sure that each party understands the situation fully, when it is often the case that one of them has traditionally dealt with ‘the money’”.
Accordingly, by working in a holistic fashion with other professionals if and when needed my mediation clients hopefully find all the issues raised addressed and are assisted through the process with the benefit of all the expertise they require.
If you would like any further information about any of the above please contact me, my details are as follows:
023 8071 8878