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Family Mediation Week Starts Monday 18th January 2021

18 January 2021

It may not make the headlines, but this is an important week for those working within the realm of family mediation as the Family Mediation Council launch Family Mediation Week starting on Monday (18.01.2021). It is aimed at raising the awareness for separating couples about the availability of, and benefits derived, from family mediation.

In days of yore, when marketing was a much less techy exercise, I remember we had an ‘A’ board outside each of our offices promoting our Family team with the strapline “Family breakdown needn’t be scary”. This was marketing bumpf of course and, whilst the sentiment was well-meaning, the reality is that family breakdown, whether you like it or not, is usually pretty scary. Particularly so if it is seen as a battle to be won between you and the ex – a battle over money, property and, often, contact arrangements with the children.

Family Mediation week aims to raise awareness of the work of Family Mediators up and down the country. A Family Mediator helps divorcing couples to resolve and agree on these issues in a collaborative and, hopefully, calm and measured way….to avoid seeing this as a battle but rather to encourage the kind of sensible dialogue that involving Courts can sometimes make very difficult. Family mediators provide a structured forum for discussions between couples and will remain impartial throughout the process.

The truth is that, for many families, mediation is a quicker, cheaper, less stressful and better option than going to court to seek to resolve these sometimes complex, and almost always, emotive issues.

So why would we, as a law firm, promote an alternative to using us?! Well, this is not lawyers doing themselves out of a job of course…our family lawyers often deal with clients who have made the most of the mediation process and have reached a clear agreement about contact issues with the children or financial settlement – we then have a role in ensuring that agreement is binding on the parties by way of formal Court Order. Those clients who have successfully engaged with the mediation process are usually informed and clear about what they want – that makes our job a lot easier. In any event, in many cases, it is a prerequisite to engage with mediation before you embark on any Court process, so you may have to mediate, whether you think it a good idea or not.

So we join with Resolution in supporting this initiative of The Family Mediation Council. Our solicitors are all members of Resolution which means we are committed to encouraging families to consider mediation as a way of resolving their disputes….that’s why we are happy to get behind Family Mediation Week.

If you require further advice on divorce and family law, contact our team today or visit our divorce and family law page for information on how we can help you.

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