What is a mediator? | Woollcombe Yonge
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Woollcombe Yonge
Jan Santillo

Jan Santillo

What is a mediator?

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 is a mediator?

A mediator is a specially trained facilitator who will guide your discussions and focus you and your former partner on the issues that need to be resolved.

A mediator is neutral. This means that the mediator does not take sides in the discussions.  The mediator does not advise you individually.  The mediator works with you both in order to reach a settlement of the issues that exist between you.

The mediator is impartial. This means the mediator is not there to make a decision in the way a Judge would.  The mediator assists you both in reaching your own decisions.  The benefit of reaching your own decisions between you is that you may well avoid the stress of going to court, the costs of going to court, and you will probably come up with an arrangement which you are both content with and prepared to live with.

The mediator, being neutral and impartial, works with you both but does not advise you as to your individual best interests. The mediator may well however take the view that they will advise you about the children’s best interests which are often lost when there is a significant dispute.

Mediators are trained to and used to dealing with conflict. They will therefore not be afraid to work with you both together to try to reach an agreement, even in high conflict cases.

The mediator will always keep in mind each party’s safety and there is intention to create a safe environment so that these discussions can take place, despite the breakdown of trust in the relationship.

The mediator will identify where a matter is not suitable for mediation, perhaps because of controlling behaviour or domestic abuse.

Some mediators have a background from having worked with children and others have a legal background. Will Giles has lengthy experience in dealing with court cases involving children, including children who have been removed by the Local Authority, and finances as part of divorce proceedings.  Will believes he is the only practicing solicitor-mediator in Plymouth and believes that this is a unique assistance in being able to help couples resolve their differences.

 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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