In this series William Giles, the Mediator at Woollcombe Yonge, provides guidance as to how couples attending mediation can make the best of that mediation and give themselves the best possible opportunity to negotiate a settlement.
There can be many barriers put up in regard to attending mediation. Will hopes to encourage separated couples to try to overcome these barriers and try to see if a mediated solution can be found. Mediation is often less stressful, cheaper and quicker than obtaining a court order. Couples will have the opportunity to find creative solutions that both are content with, rather than have an order imposed by a Judge.
Will urges separating couples to try this process of resolving disputes. You may find it cheaper, quicker, more constructive and with better communication between you in the future.
What mediation is not
There are a number of misconceptions about mediation which often lead to confusion and barriers being placed in the way of using mediation as a way of resolving disputes.
Mediation is not counselling – If you require assistance with counselling, we can recommend you to counsellors who we work with.
Mediation is not about assisting you to reconcile, although the mediator will always be aware as to whether there is a prospect of reconciliation. Where there is a prospect of reconciliation, we would usually refer to Relate Counselling or to other “couple counsellors”.
The mediator is not a Judge. The mediator is not therefore responsible for making decisions. The mediator is there to assist both parties.
The mediator is not there to advise the individual parties about their individual best interests. This is the province of a solicitor.
A mediator will assist you both in reaching your own decisions in the hope of avoiding stressful and costly litigation.
The mediator is not there to verify the financial information obtained from you in divorce finances cases. This is the province of a solicitor and as mediators, we always advised that the parties seek legal advice before reaching a final agreement.
The mediator is not there to prepare a consent order for filing at court. this again would be undertaken by a solicitor. If you do not have a solicitor, we can recommend mediation friendly solicitors to assist.
Information provided in mediation and discussions about settlements are not “open”. This means they cannot be passed to the court. Mediation is confidential.
You cannot be forced to undertake mediation. It is a voluntary process. You do however need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting if you wish a mediator to sign the application for court where you intend to apply to court. this might apply where one party does not want to attend mediation or where mediation is not suitable for other reasons.
William Giles is a Family Law Solicitor, Mediator and Collaborative Practitioner with Woollcombe Yonge Solicitors. Our mediation practice is known as WY Mediation. For initial free discussion with Will Giles please telephone him on (01752) 827912.
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"As a family we found the service provided to us was delivered with ’empathy’ and was in fact ‘outstanding’, we would most certainly recommend Woollcombe Yonge to friends.”