Mediators do not give advice, they are facilitators who are able to provide information to direct you to appropriate advice providers. Mediators then help you make your decision, it's your life after all.
Divorce; divorce is the only legal way to bring a marriage to an end, one person in the marriage has to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down to be able to start divorce proceedings. The unfortunate thing is that many marriages would not lead to divorce if the couple could communicate, Mediation is not marriage guidance but it encourages couples to talk to each other, to hopefully see each other’s position, to enable them to move forward and resolve all those issues that Divorce brings up such as contact arrangements with the children and financial matters, in difficult circumstances to see that jaw jaw is better than war war.
Children; any dispute between a child’s parents is probably the most distressing and upsetting and damaging thing for a child to experience. Both parents mum and dad almost always want the best for their child but sometimes their wants ignore what is best and right for the child and sometimes the child becomes the rope in a tug of war between the parents who become blind to the damage their arguing is causing.
The law says that the parents of a child born to a married couple have equal rights in respect of the child, it also takes the view that the parents should be able to agree between them where the children live with whom they live and the time they spend with each parent. Although for unmarried parents the position is slightly different the law and the courts give parents equal rights. In mediation we don’t look at who is entitled to this or to that, it looks at what is going to work in the best interest of the child, to help parents continue their joint responsibility towards their children and to help understand what the children might be feeling and needing from mum and dad and more importantly what they don’t.
Money and finance; money and finance, two words that cover so much, in divorce it covers perhaps the division of the house, a pension to be split or shared, savings and
Investments, business assets, inheritances, maintenance and child support.
Even an unmarried couple separating may have a house that needs to be divided and issues over houses that are only in one person’s name may need to be resolved and children’s interests in those houses also to be sorted out.
Money is always in short supply no matter how much you have and if the result of a relationship brake down is that two households need to be established instead of one it becomes even more important that the assets are preserved for the parties and their children and not wasted in expensive and damaging arguments and court proceedings.
Co Habitation disputes; More and more people are choosing to live together rather than enter into a formal marriage or civil partnership, the law is dragging way behind the trend and the consequence is that the safe guards set in place to deal with the brake down of a marriage or civil partnership does not exist. There is instead a miss mash of laws that people have to rely upon unless through mediation a sensible resolution can be found in a civilized and cost efficient way. No doubt a long cohabitating couple will have the same assets as a married or civil partnership couple, despite the similarity and the myth of common law husband and wife the law looks at the relationship as if it doesn’t exist.
Civil partnership;The parties in a civil partnership have the same legal protection on its brake down as a married couple however that couple has the same unfortunate opportunity to deal with things in a way that diminishes their assets for no sensible reason, mediation will enable the couple to bring about a settlement that is one that they are happy with not one imposed by a court after much cost both in money and emotion.
The FMA - Family Mediators Association
ADRg - Mediation Specialists
RESOLUTION - First for Family Law
Relate - the Relationship People
Divorce - legally bringing a marriage to an end on the ground that it has irretrievably broken down
Contact - sometimes called access, the right for the absent child to know and see their other parent, also rights for Grandparents.
Residence - sometimes called Custody, with whom the child lives.
Financial resolution - also called Ancillary Relief, how the court can determine the division of the family assets.
Mediation - a means for a couple coming together in a safe environment to work out their and their family futures.
Maintenance - the provision of money to help look after the children or the other party.