When families are splitting up it makes sense to come to hear how mediation can help before you do anything. This is because mediation is the usually the most cost effective and fastest way to resolve the issues arising when you split up.
You come to an assessment with the mediator, which can be jointly together or separate and typically takes about an hour. The mediator needs to understand your situation, can assess you for legal aid. If you want to mediate, they explain what you have to do to prepare for the sessions.
Mediation is facilitated negotiations, with the mediator giving you the legal information you need to make informed decisions. It is not about recriminations or arguing, nor is it about counselling or getting you to reconcile.
The six steps to mediation are:

  • Assessment
  • Identify the Issues
  • Mediation sessions
  • Full financial disclosure if there are financial issues to be sorted out
  • Explore options
  • Come to agreement

Simple and effective, mediation is hard work but worth it. You avoid becoming opponents in an expensive fight and potentially spending more than you are arguing about in legal costs. It makes sense to try the simplest fastest route first, as you may well not need to spend more and take longer.
This past year has seen some major changes to legal aid for most family proceedings, however in many cases you can still have mediation paid for – to find out if you are eligible click here.