Divorce mediation replaces the need for going to court to help sort out parenting, financial or property disputes. In many cases you must consider mediation before you can even apply to the court for your case to be heard.
Both the government and courts believe the best way to sort out disputes is by mediation – especially when children or families are involved. Overall, mediation provides a less stressful and less costly experience for all parties involved.
Family mediation is very much about looking forward – how you can move on from your current situation. It is not couples counselling or therapy, but does help you resolve your issues in a quick, calm and effective manner. Your parenting or financial agreement can be made legally binding with a consent order or child arrangements order.
We Use Various Methods of Mediation That Works
We meet each party, individually at first, for up to an hour. This individual session lets you explain what the issues are, what you would like to happen and any concerns you may have. We then put plans together for the joint sessions.
Under some circumstances we may feel it would be beneficial to hold joint sessions from separate rooms. This is called shuttle mediation. Or we may believe that having two mediators would be useful for your case. These options, and others, can be discussed at your first meeting, usually called a MIAM.
The joint mediation sessions usually cover any parenting arrangements first and then we look at finances. We share our knowledge and experience with you as we help you come to an agreement based on what the courts will take into account. We will keep you focused on moving forward and getting to an agreement – not discussing what has happened in the past.
On completion of your mediation about child matters, we can convert any agreement reached about your children into a Parenting Plan or provide you with information on how to convert the Parenting Plan into a child arrangements order through the court.
On completion of your mediation about property and finances, we can provide you with information on how to convert your agreement into a consent order.
Family & Friends
When a friend or family member is going through a divorce or separation you can play an important part in helping them through.
They may be looking to you for advice or opinion, and at times it will be hard not to take sides or get drawn in to the conflict your friend or relative may be experiencing.
Whatever you might think about your friend’s or family member’s ex-partner, remember that they are still the parent of the children who are caught in the middle of things. The best advice you can give is that they contact a local FLM's mediator who will be able to guide your friend or family member through the emotional and practical upheaval that happens when family relationships breakdown.
If your friend or family member asks for your advice, assure them that, with guidance through family mediation, they can and will make the decision that is right for their situation.
You might also want to help find support services that they will be able to access or ask others who have been in a similar situation to recommend professionals whom they have found helpful, respectful and impartial.
Our trained family mediators will be able to help your friend or relative resolve issues like:
- How the children will maintain contact with their parents
- Where the children are going to live
- How the family is going to support themselves financially
- How the children will maintain their schooling, friends and social life
- How the parents will look after themselves so that their children can be supported through the family changes.
Here is a flow chart which shows the Divorce Mediation Process:
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Weekend appointments are available on request
*We can offer a limited number of pre-arranged mediation sessions outside of office hours subject to agreement and availability. All mediation sessions are held either at our offices or remotely via video conferencing software e.g. Zoom.