Mediation for Divorce or Separation
What is Mediation?
Mediation offers a practical way of exploring new options with the help of trained Mediators. Although the marriage may have come to an end, where children are involved, the couple's relationship as Parents will continue and Mediation may be the way of resolving the conflict which is inevitably generated by the breakdown of a relationship. It aims to assist the clients build a new relationship in which they address questions which will affect their own future and that of their children.
Mediation is not counselling or marriage guidance, but by assisting the couple to communicate with each other it may result in some couples becoming reconciled.
Who is it for?
Those couples who wish to make their own decisions about their future arrangements for housing, children and financial matters.
Mediation is a sensible option - not a soft option. Because of the tensions which inevitably arise when a marriage or relationship breaks down, couples are often unable to work things out on their own, but they may wish to avoid the increased hostility and expense which contested Court proceedings would generate.
Is it confidential?
All discussions are strictly confidential unless someone's life or welfare is at risk. Financial information may be used by the clients if the dispute goes to Court but nothing that is said in an attempt to reach agreement can be repeated in Court.
Who will Mediate?
Marc Nye is Accredited to mediate alone but sometimes it helps to have two mediators, a man and a woman, each trained by the Family Mediators Association, who may be drawn from different professional backgrounds. One will come from a legal and the other may come from a therapeutic background (that is one specialising in personal needs), to combine the best skills of each profession and to assist couples in reaching their own negotiated outcome.
Where family mediation is offered it is conducted under the rules of the Family Mediators Association.
Why have two Mediators?
When a longstanding and close relationship fails tensions inevitably run high. Often one party will be more dominant so having two Mediators helps to avoid any client feeling that the Mediator has misunderstood their view and while one Mediator works on the practical problems the other will be working on other aspects to ensure the Mediation is fair. Such information as is available suggests that it helps to find a quicker and longer lasting outcome.
Can the couple have Legal Advice?
Mediation does not replace legal advice. Mediators can give general legal information but, because their task is to help both parties,they cannot give legal advice to either party. Where necessary they will recommend that clients seek independent legal advice during or at the end of the Mediation. As experienced professionals in their own fields they will each draw upon that experience. At the end of the Mediation, the couple's proposals for settling their differences, which they will have worked out for themselves, will be set out in a written summary prepared by the Mediators and each of the parties will be invited to take the summary to a Solicitor who will formalise the proposals and prepare the necessary legally binding Agreement.
What if we can't agree?
Nothing is lost. Most of the information which you gather in a Mediation would be required by each of your Solicitors if you were separately represented. It will also be required by the Court before it makes an Order even if you have agreed. It will have been gathered quickly and efficiently through your joint effort so what have you to lose?
What about the expense?
Experience shows that the cost of a successful Mediation will represent a substantial saving on the costs of a divorce conducted under the traditional adversarial system where each party uses their own solicitor leaving a greater proportion of the family's assets available to provide for their future needs. Each Mediation meeting usually lasts one and a half hours. The number of meetings depends on the nature and complexity of the issues and the pace at which the couple wish to proceed. Generally between three and six meetings are required to deal with all issues. The charges are payable at each meeting and may be shared by the clients in any way they agree.
What if the other person does not accept that there is a problem?
Go to Court, but remember that Mediation may still be possible at a later stage when all parties acknowledge that there is a problem to be resolved and want to help to reach a settlement.
How does it work?
The Mediator directs the proceedings and encourages the parties to:
- Define the problem
- Concentrate on the issues that need to be settled
- Reduce conflict
- Consider all possible options for settling the dispute
- Look for positive benefits to be gained from a settlement
- Produce their own proposals for a solution to the problem
Between 80% and 90% of all cases that go to Court are settled by agreement between the parties before the Judge reaches a decision. Often substantial costs have been incurred by that stage. Mediation offers the opportunity to look for a positive outcome to a dispute. It is not a soft option but it a sensible course to consider.
Marc Nye is an accredited Member of the Family Mediators Association and a member of the Law Society's Family Mediation Panel. He is also a Registered Mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.
Marc has had many years experience as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court, with wide experience in dealing with divorce & separation and all types of Family & personal problems. He has now retired from legal practice and concentrates solely on Mediation work.
Marc is a Member of the Law Society's Specialist Family Mediation Panel and has been a member of Resolution (formerly called the Solicitors Family Law Association) for many years and remains an Affiliate Member. He believes that wherever possible a constructive approach to resolving disputes can be beneficial to all parties.
For further information please speak to Marc Nye.
Marc Nye Lawyer - Mediator,
Suite 1, Grove House, 8 St Julian's Friar, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1XL
Telephone: 01743 270027