Legal advice in mediation


The breakdown of a relationship is one of the most stressful things that can happen to anyone. If your marriage or relationship is ending, you may feel very frightened about what the future will bring and you may dread having to go to the Family Court to argue about financial issues or arrangements for your children. Time and again, clients tell solicitors that they want to resolve things in an amicable way.

Mediation is an alternative to using the court to resolve a family dispute. Mediators are neutral and will not take sides in any dispute, but will meet with you and your spouse or partner and will identify those issues that you cannot agree on and then help you to try and reach agreement. Mediators do not provide legal advice as they are impartial, but it is prudent for you to seek legal advice from a solicitor throughout the mediation process.

Mediation is sometimes mistakenly thought of as being an alternative to using a solicitor. It isn’t; it’s an alternative to using the court. Solicitors are an important part of the mediation process. It is important to seek legal advice from a solicitor during the mediation process. Going to mediation with the benefit of legal advice increases the chances of reaching an agreement that is appropriate.

Unlike the Family Court, where the judge makes the decisions, in mediation, the decision-making remains with you and your spouse or partner, not with the mediator.

Mediation is suitable for disputes about financial issues at the end of a marriage or relationship, including what is to happen about your house, pensions and maintenance. If a decision is reached, the mediator will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding which you can then discuss with your solicitor, who can then sort out the paperwork necessary to finalise and implement the agreement.

It is also a good way to resolve disagreements about children, such as where they live and how often they see each parent. Mediated agreements about children are less likely to break down than those imposed by a court.

Mediation is considerably cheaper than using the Family Court to resolve matters. For example, contested court proceedings to decide financial issues in a divorce can cost between £5,000 and £20,000 plus VAT per person, possibly more. Disputes about children can cost a similar amount. On the other hand, mediation is far, far less expensive, usually a few hundred pounds per mediation session, and legal fees payable to your solicitor for advice and drafting documents which will be far lower than the costs incurred by going to court.

Mediation reduces hostility, helps you to make informed decisions about your future, avoids the cost and risk involved in Family Court proceedings and helps children by showing their parents working together to resolve issues.

I have practised as a mediator in the past so I understand the process and when it can be the right route for a couple to resolve their differences. I can advise you whether or not mediation is suitable for you and if so, refer you to a suitable mediator.

My role doesn’t end there; I also advise you throughout the mediation process so that you can assess any proposals that are made and if agreement is reached, I handle the paperwork necessary to formalise the agreement and obtain a consent order from the Court.

To discuss further, please telephone me on 01206 848426 or contact us by email at

Want to avoid using the court, but not sure that mediation is right for you? Consider using the collaborative process instead.



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