Alternatives to Court

Family Mediation

family mediation

At Walker Family Law we firmly believe in exploring alternatives to court for our valued clients. Through commitments to methods such as family mediation, we offer you cost-effective, efficient, and amicable approaches to resolving family law matters. Our experienced team provides comprehensive guidance on alternative dispute resolution methods specifically tailored to your unique circumstances. With our support, our goal is to assist you in achieving a mutually satisfactory outcome outside of the courtroom.

What is family mediation and how does it work?

Family mediation is a process of assisted negotiation, where an independent mediator helps couples resolve issues. It is a voluntary, confidential process that involves a neutral, third-party mediator who helps families resolve disputes and reach agreements outside of court. The mediator does not take sides or make decisions for the family, but rather assists them in finding a common ground and negotiating a mutually acceptable outcome.

If you are facing a family dispute, our experienced family mediator, Ian Walker, can help you reach an agreement in an amicable and respectful manner. We specialise in mediation for family matters including divorce, financial cases, and complex children disputes.

Mediation is a flexible process that we adapt to best serve our clients’ needs. We offer a range of mediation services including:

  • Child Inclusive Mediation: our goal is to ensure that the voices of older children are heard and considered during the mediation process.
  • Integrated Mediation: we collaborate with other professionals to help develop various options and solutions.
  • Solicitor Inclusive Mediation: this involves providing support and guidance to clients with legal representation throughout the mediation process.
  • Online Mediation: we conduct the entire mediation process remotely using Microsoft Teams, allowing clients to participate from the comfort of a location of their choice.
  • Shuttle Mediation: even if parties in dispute are not physically present in the same room during the mediation meeting, the mediator will facilitate communication and help them reach an agreement.

We can also work with arbitrators to offer Med-Arb, where the arbitrator will determine any matters which cannot be resolved in the mediation.

How can I prepare

You can work out what you do and do not agree on. Seeking early advice and intervention will help you to avoid potential further conflict and resolve things easier. 

You can have the facts at your fingertips, have everything you need ready to go. This could be your mortgage capacity, the value of your home or pension or anything personal that can impact your divorce. Being organised will allow everything to run smoothly and as stress free as possible.

Give family mediation a fair chance. It can help you solve any issues outside of court, meaning you save money and do not have to go through the emotional stress that comes with going through court proceedings.

By giving yourself time to make an informed decision, and carefully considering the steps you need to take, means you are less likely to regret any decision you have made later down the line and can assure you that you are doing the right thing.

Co-operate voluntarily and be engaged in the process. It is vital that you do not feel as though you have been pushed into family mediation. By co-operating on your own terms, and engaging with the process, it will make things run more smoothly and ensure your best interests are taken into account.

Be open and honest. There is no point engaging in family mediation and agreeing to things if you are not being honest to yourself or the other parties involved. If you are not honest, it opens the doors for potential problems in the future.

Look ahead to move forward. Focus on the end goal and do all you can to work towards a conclusion to your issues. It will make family mediation more streamlined and simpler for you.

Be amicable and try to preserve relationships. This is particularly important if your have children, and you need to continue to co-parent. The welfare and best interests of your children ought to always be your focus and priority. It is important that you avoid mudslinging, particularly if there are children involved. Be the bigger person and family mediation will be more straightforward.

Obtain support if you need it, whether this be advice from a divorce coach or counsellor, or from an independent financial advisor, their input could be invaluable.

Lastly, do it your way. The outcome of family mediation is dependent upon your own, individual circumstances and therefore, your experience will not compare with your friends or family members’ experience. So, limit the involvement of others and engage in a way that will benefit you.

How We Can Help

As Solicitors who offer neutral family mediation, we believe that we are best placed to protect the integrity of the family mediation process, having a deep understanding of the importance of confidentiality and neutrality. We are also acutely aware of both adult and child safeguarding and will tailor and facilitate the process to ensure that meetings are focused and that both clients can confidently and safely express their views. We help couples to concentrate on the issues, listen to each other, and make informed decisions.

A Mediator can provide information to assist clients on a neutral basis. When the mediator is also a solicitor, the couple can have confidence that they are receiving good and informed information that will help them to find a mutually acceptable solution.

When we represent clients as solicitors and determine that they would benefit from alternative mediation services, we will refer them exclusively to mediators with a strong legal background. This ensures that our clients receive the specialist knowledge they need during the mediation process.

Ian Walker is a very experienced mediator, having trained in 1996 and is accredited by the Family Mediation Council and the Law Society. He is also a Child Law Arbitrator with the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators. Ian’s experience also includes having served as a Trustee of the Family Mediators Association.

In financial cases, to make agreements binding there still needs to be a Court Order approved by a Judge. After a financial family mediation has concluded, our mediators can then prepare the financial order if instructed by both clients as a solicitor to act on a neutral basis.

Contact the team to schedule a consultation. Couples who are separating amicably might also wish to consider Resolution Together as an alternative to mediation.

Alternatives to Court Services

Whether you are facing a divorce, financial issues, or a child custody dispute, we are here to help you reach a resolution-focused outcome. If alternative routes to court are not successful, we are well prepared to provide you with the necessary legal advice to help you navigate the court system and find a workable solution that has your family’s best interests at heart. 

Start a conversation today