What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a process where two people can meet with a trained, impartial mediator to aid discussions and reach a way forward that suits their family. This can include issues such as marriage, separation, divorce, child custody, parenting schedules, spousal and/or child support, the division of property, elder care, the family’s budget, and inherited wealth distribution.

Mediation can also help individuals resolve disagreements about retirement, insurance, investment strategies, and debt management. It is a non-adversarial, less expensive alternative to traditional legal proceedings. Moreover, mediation sessions can be held in person or through video conference calls, which allows individuals to participate remotely.

During mediation, the mediator works with both parties and their attorneys to identify underlying issues in dispute. The mediator helps them find solutions that meet everyone’s needs while minimizing conflict and preserving relationships. The mediator also encourages the parties to consider the needs of their children, especially where there are disputes over custody or visitation rights.

Unlike court proceedings, family mediation is generally much quicker and more flexible. It can be completed within one session or over several two- to three-hour sessions. If the parties are unable to agree, the mediator may recommend that they consult with a solicitor for advice about legal options. To find an accredited family mediator, you can use the government’s online search tool or speak with your local legal professional. For information about solicitors, you can also find a local law society by keying your location into their directory or by visiting their website.

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