Mediation No. 9 | Woollcombe Yonge
Woollcombe Yonge
Dave Smith


Mediation No. 9

Final update 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.

Barriers to mediation

There are numerous barriers to mediation.  I have set out some of these below.

My former partner will not provide financial information

As part of any process involving divorce, it will be necessary to gather financial information such as details of the value of your house, any mortgages attached, pensions valuations, bank statements, credit card statements, valuations of motor vehicles and items of value that you may own, wage slips and details of any sources of income you may have.

Some people worry that the other party will not provide that information.  It is of course crucial as part of any form of process that full and frank disclosure is given in a transparent way.  Without this, mediation may not be suitable.

However, within mediation, parties to the mediation are able to decide what is and what is not relevant.

My former partner won’t come to mediation

This is a common worry.  There is little effort however in contacting the other party to see if they will attend.  People are often surprised that in fact someone they did not think would attend does in fact want to attend.  The initial state of mediation is for each party to meet with the mediator individually and this gives each party an opportunity to have their say and to let the mediator know the issues that are most important to them and the concerns they may have.  This can often be therapeutic and can assist in the mediation sessions in clearing the air.

Mediation is expensive

The reality is that mediation is in fact far cheaper than court proceedings.  in mediation, you would expect to have between 1-5 sessions of 1 ½ – 2 hours per session.  It would be reasonable to assume that most mediation cases fall between 2-4 sessions.  Our mediation fees are £100.00 plus VAT per person per hour.  Court proceedings on the other hand for the same issues often incur fees of £10,000-£15,000 per party.

My former partner will not agree matters

This is a common misconception.  Most people who attend mediation know that they are there to reach a compromise.

Where a couple are positionalised in that they have received advice about what they should seek and will not move from that advice, mediation may not be effective.

My former partner is a stronger character/charismatic

These all may or may not be true.  The mediator however is specially trained to monitor “bargaining power” and to help empower both parties to have their say.  The mediator is there to control the meetings, and in the event that the mediator thinks that one party is being dominated, they can bring an end to those sessions.

Ex-partners often put up a number of significant reasons why they should not attend mediation and why they should go to court.  However, this then means they miss an opportunity to resolve matters by agreement, and to improve good communication.   Court proceedings will almost certainly leave parties more divided and more embittered towards each other.  Sometimes court proceeding are absolutely necessary and Woollcombe Yonge Solicitors have numerous specialists who can assist in this respect.  However, it is well worth considering mediation before embarking upon litigation.

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.

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