How Family Law & Mediation go hand in hand

“Mediation should not just be seen as a stepping stone to court.”

We “met” up today with Jessica Inman, Private Family Law Solicitor from TBI, one of the firms that refers their clients into our mediation services. As part of National Family Mediation week we dug into why mediation should be actively utilised in family law matters and the importance of resolution.

Private family law is typically concerned with supporting clients with child related matters such as child arrangement disputes and financial issues arising within divorce proceedings.  Family mediation plays a large role in helping to reduce conflict between parties. Jess and the private family law team at TBI are Resolution lawyers and are therefore focused on providing a legal service that keeps the families’ best interests at heart by resolving matters in the least contentious and most cost-effective manner, where possible.

Online mediation is a useful tool in helping partners reach an agreement over important factors in their life that will have likely changed since their split, such as child arrangements. Jess went on to explain that mediation is particularly useful where correspondence between parties is passing back-and-forth with little progress all the while ramping up legal costs that are potentially avoidable with the help of mediation.

“Mediation is a mandatory step to commence court proceedings if that is what our client seeks or has no other option but at the same time mediation should not just be used or seen as a stepping stone into getting there but should be actively engaged in by a client”

Although mediation outcomes are not legally binding, they are an opportunity for family members to speak with an individual outside of the law process that can really help unpick and understand the contention between them and their ex-partner. The mediation process includes an individual 1:1 appointment with a mediator for both parties before bringing them together to finalise arrangements. It is a collaborative approach with the mediator not leading the conversation but guiding you both through. Mediation is not just a brokerage of who can see which child when but so much more than that, it’s a service that helps with how to deal with issues such as difficult handovers, special occasions, school holidays and the day to day co-parenting as well as tools to help parties with communication. It leaves you with with a sustainable plan for your family and a lot less costly conflict. It is fantastic to see and be supported by a law firm that genuinely has the best interests of the client and the family set up at heart.

“We are resolution lawyers, our main goal is to act in the best interests of the client. If matters can be resolved out of court, thereby reducing animosity and, reducing costs then we absolutely want our clients to consider alternative means of dispute resolution such as mediation if possible. Court proceedings often introduce an additional level of tension, can be emotionally tolling and time-consuming and can remove a degree of control from the parties. It is always best, particularly where children are involved, to resolve a dispute with the least conflict. With mediation, if parties are willing to fully engage and compromise with one another, resolution may happen far quicker than if court proceedings were pursued.”

Mediation is a service which can be engaged by with simply ringing and arranging a referral yourself or via a solicitor. It is important to know that when thinking about heading to court there are low cost and less stressful options available to you.

TBI are the largest law practice on Teesside.  The firm has been operating for in excess of 150 years.   It offers a full service in respect of all areas of law with lawyers being specialists in their fields.  Indeed, the private family law team members have a wealth of experience behind them so can provide clients with expert guidance. You can find more information about TBI here

Changing Futures Online Mediation offers appointments nationally across the UK and are able to offer appointment times within a week of your call. For those based in the North East mediation enquiries can be made through ourselves or our local branch Tees Valley Mediation . All mediation appointments are available online.