Woollcombe Yonge Mediation
Divorce and Separation
At Woollcombe Yonge we recognise that separating and divorcing is an extremely emotionally difficult and stressful time, not only for the couple involved, but also for their children.
Many couples find themselves involved in court proceedings which are costly and which are often hard for the parties to understand.
The couple can become trapped into a cycle of information provision and upsetting allegations against each other.
Many couples, however, welcome a more constructive, cooperative and amicable approach. With the assistance of an independent, neutral and impartial mediator, these clients are to have discussions and reach agreement about their children and their financial circumstances.
We have therefore set up a mediation practice, which we call WYMediation.
What is a mediator?
A mediator is a specially trained facilitator. A mediator is neutral and impartial and does not take sides in the discussions.
The mediator is specially trained to help both parties find solutions to the problems that have arisen following separation.
This avoids the need to attend court, reduces costs and can assist in minimising stress and pressure.
The collaborative nature of the discussions should lead to improvements in communication between a separating couple and leave them better able to co-parent their children in the long term.
What mediation is not
Mediation is not counselling to assist you to reconcile.
Mediation helps you to come to joint decisions as to how to divide your assets and co-parent your children.
The mediator is not a Judge and will not decide what you should do.
The mediator will help you to find your own solutions that work very best for your particular family circumstances and for you.
Mediation is confidential and therefore any discussions cannot be placed before a Judge.
You are therefore able to discuss matters openly and transparently and to consider all possible options, rather than focussing on one particular position, as is encouraged through the courts.
Benefits of Mediation
• You set the agenda.
• You have the opportunity to speak directly to your former partner about the issues that are most important to you.
• You have the opportunity to hear from your partner about the issues that are most important to them.
• You resolve matters without going to court and putting your life in the hands of a Judge, who you will have never met before and who will have only had an opportunity to briefly read the papers and hear from you before making decisions which will affect you possibly for the rest of your life.
• Mediation is confidential.
• Mediation is cost effective.
• Mediation is flexible and we can work at the pace that you as a couple wish to work at.
Arrangements for the meetings
At the forefront of a Mediator’s mind is the safety of all involved in the mediation and the children.
The Mediator will, therefore, assess as to the suitability of mediation before and during each meeting.
The Mediator will expect that communication difficulties will have arisen and that the parties are in conflict.
Some people are put off by having to engage directly with their former partner.
Many more people have welcomed the opportunity to speak directly with their former partner so that they can resolve their issues cooperatively and cost-effectively.
Other hurdles that people put in the way of trying mediation include concerns as follows:
(a) That the other party will not attend. In our experience, people wish to be heard and wish to have their say.
(b) That it will not work.
For those parents and former partners who are committed to resolving matters between them without Court proceedings, and wish a constructive solution to their issues, mediation is very often very successful.
The Mediator will anticipate that there will occasionally be impasses and will find ways around those.
At the very least, you can expect the Mediator to help you limit your issues to those that are most central, as many people involved in divorce and separation often focus on issues which cannot be resolved and are least central to them.
Working with Solicitors
We actively encourage each party to instruct solicitors.
We recognise that it is important for both parties to have their own independent legal advice.
Sometimes the mediator will identify questions for you to ask your solicitor between mediation sessions.
As you may already be aware, legal aid is not generally available for children disputes and financial issues.
However, in regard to mediation concerning your children and your financial issues, legal aid is still available where you are financially eligible.
A mediator can undertake an assessment of your financial means in order to ascertain whether you would be eligible for legal aid.
Direct assess to children
A Mediator is trained in direct access to children and with your agreement and proper planning, can see the children in order to ascertain whether they wish to have feedback into your discussions.
Many parents agree that it is important for a child’s voice to be heard.
Our Mediator is Will Giles, who is accredited with the Family Mediation Council (U409A) and The Law Society.
Will is an experienced mediator, as well as having the advantage of having lengthy experience of all levels of family law as a solicitor.
This gives Will a unique insight into the problems that arise for separating couples and how to resolve them.
Please contact us on 01752 660384, or email Will Giles on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"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.”