New Forest family breakdown? Consider mediation
Life Matters for Lymington from Lester Aldridge: How mediation can help in family breakdown
Continuing a similar theme from last month, and aware that at any time most of us seem to have friends going through this awful crisis in their lives, this month's Life Matters for Lymington from Lester Aldridge focuses on the subject of Mediation - which might make all the difference and has certainly proven to do so for many.
As always, please share this article with anyone you know who might find it useful.
Family breakdown - almost guaranteed to be emotional and stressful
Family breakdown is almost always an emotional and stressful time, for all those involved.
These emotions are often heightened by the prospect of bitter court proceedings which are costly in terms of money, time and uncertain outcome.
These additional pressures and anxieties are the last thing that anyone needs at this difficult time, which is why many people turn to mediation in an attempt to resolve the issues which arise on the breakdown of a relationship.
Mediation is generally a quicker and more cost effective route to resolving disputes and aims to make the process less traumatic for any children involved.
In the mediation process you also retain control over the outcome of your dispute, whether it relates to children matters, financial matters or both. This differs from the court process where a Judge will make a final decision if you cannot agree.
Be prepared to be challenged
However mediation is not the easy option; discussing and possibly compromising on sensitive issues with someone you have previously been in a relationship with can be emotionally draining.
The reward - make your own decisions
Nevertheless, by attending mediation you and your former partner can make your own decisions.
What does a mediator do?
A trained and experienced family mediator can help you through the process and facilitate you reaching an understanding with your former partner.
The mediator has to be impartial and, to ensure that this remains the case, he or she cannot give advice, only information.
Therefore you may wish to retain the services of a solicitor to advise. The mediator does not make decisions or impose a settlement. The mediator will help the parties work through options and reality checks their proposals. A mediator will ensure that there is not a power imbalance in the negotiations.
Family mediation can be for all the family
Family mediation is not limited to the separating couple. As a process it can also assist in resolving disputes involving grandparents and, if appropriate, children can be invited into the process. (Although cases involving domestic violence or child protection issues may render mediation inappropriate. There are however other options for example “shuttle mediation” whereby you and your former partner do not have to sit in the same room. Instead, your mediator will “shuttle” between the two of you to facilitate negotiations.)
Mediation - an effective tool
If used correctly, mediation is an effective tool in resolving family disputes. Through mediation the couple has the opportunity of improving their communication and chances of long-term cooperation with each other which is so essential where there are children. The mediator controls the process and the parties retain control of the decisions made. There is always full disclosure of financial information if the mediation relates to financial issues.
One of the particular benefits of attending mediation at Lester Aldridge is that all of our mediators are qualified and experienced family solicitors so they are aware of how the law operates in practice. We are all members of Resolution, a national association of specialist family lawyers committed to a non-confrontational approach to resolving family problems.
Free 30 minute consultation which can include the family
Lester Aldridge Solicitors offer a free 30 minute consultation which can include the whole family if you would like it to. This may in itself be a really helpful and constructive thing to do. By clicking this link to the Lester Aldridge Family Law team you can contact them and also can view details of all the Lester Aldridge Partners in the Family Law team.)
Or simply call 01202 786161 and ask for a member of the Family Law team.
Life Matters for Lymington and the New Forest
For a full list of all the Life Matters articles by Lester Aldrige Solicitors published on Lymington.com so that you can read the ones which interest you, please click this link
About Lester Aldridge
Lester Aldridge Solicitors are based in London and Bournemouth where the office covering the New Forest is situated conveniently close to the main Bournemouth train station. Their specialist teams in the various fields of law will be happy to advise and assist you, starting with a completely free initial consultation during which you can decide whether you feel able to trust them with your confidential information. For more information please click here.