Mediation No. 6
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.
Benefits of Mediation
You and your former partner set the agenda. That is, you decide what to discuss and what is most important to you both.
You have the opportunity to speak directly to your former partner about the issue that are most important to you. This may differ from the issues that they want to discuss but it is an opportunity for you to communicate directly to them any concerns you have about any issues you wish to resolve.
You have the opportunity to hear from your partner about the issues that are most important to them. It is important to really listen to what your former partner is saying. It is often the case that former partners make assumptions about what the other is thinking and these assumptions often turn out to be incorrect.
You and your former partner will resolve matters without going to court and potentially putting your future in the hands of a Judge who you will have never met before, who may not share your values, who may have had an entirely different lifestyle to you, who may have only briefly had the opportunity to read the papers, and whose view may well be directed by the cross-examination of the barristers who are acting for you and your former partner.
It is very rare for people to put their welfare and wealth in the hands of someone who they have never met before. Nonetheless, many people apply to court and face this exact situation. Undertaking mediation means that you and your former partner can keep control of discussions and seek to reach agreements that you are both comfortable with.
Mediation is confidential. Anything discussed in mediation in relation to proposals for settlement of issues cannot later be passed to a Judge. Therefore, you and your former partner can have very wide-ranging discussions. This is usually not possible in the court environment where both parties will have “positions” that they will not want to move from.
Mediation is cost effective. Legal proceedings are very expensive. Mediation is a much cheaper method of resolving disputes. You effectively share the costs of the mediator and the lawyers are used to put the agreements into place.
Mediation is flexible and we can work at the pace you wish to work at. This means that mediation can be much quicker. It also means you can arrange the appointments when you want rather than being directed by a court.
As a mediator, we have the same access to experts such as pension actuaries, property valuers and accountants as solicitors do. Very often where expert reports are required, we will work together with the solicitors who are representing their clients to obtain this information.
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) 660384.
"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.”