Legal Advice and Mediation
This week is National Mediation week and family law bodies such as Resolution, www.resolution.org.uk are promoting the benefits of mediation when separating or making arrangements following relationship breakdowns.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of discussing the arrangements between you with an independent third party who can direct the conversations but will not make the decisions for you. A mediator is there to assist with balancing both parties’ input and ask for information to facilitate agreements. It can be useful when discussing divorce and the grounds, how to tell the children you are separating, making arrangements for seeing children and financial arrangements.
Mediation can be cost effective as you share the cost of one hourly rate. It also allows both of you to have more of a say than if a court were to decide what should happen, which if no agreement can be reached, is where these matters can end up. Mediation can also be complimented by legal advice at stages through the process and the two are not mutually exclusive. One such stage can be when you have both provided your financial information and exchanged it and want advice on what a court might consider a fair settlement based on your information. It can help with a strategy for mediation.
Sealing the deal.
Mediation can help with reaching an agreement but it is not legally binding. The only way to make an agreement for your finances on divorce legally binding would be to have the agreement reached at Mediation put into a Consent Order, which is legally binding and ordered by a court on the basis of the agreement reached between you. This document has to be drafted by a lawyer. Depending on whose lawyer drafts the Consent Order, the other party should also take advice to make sure the Consent Order reflects what was agreed and have the terms and effect explained to them.
A level of legal advice at key stages supplements the mediation process. Our fixed fee meetings can provide advice at stages to get the best from the mediation process. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further or arrange a zoom appointment to compliment your mediation sessions.