The Family Mediation Council has published the results of its 2019 Family Mediation Survey to coincide with Family Mediation Week, taking place from 20th-24th January 2020.
Professional family mediators act as neutral third parties to help ex-partners have conversations about issues such as what arrangements will be best for any children, and what will happen with finances?
The Family Mediation Council Survey of family mediators, conducted in Autumn 2019, shows that family mediation is a highly successful way of helping separating couples resolve disputes, with mediation successful in over 70% of cases. These success rates are consistent with figures from previous studies, including government studies.
The survey also shows that where both of the people separating go and see a family mediator for an initial individual assessment meeting, three quarters choose to go on to mediate.
John Taylor, chair of the Family Mediation Council said ‘it is not surprising that so many people who attend a first meeting with a mediator chose to go on to mediate. The meeting (sometimes called a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting, or MIAM) provides people with an opportunity to find out what family mediation is, how it might work for them and the practicalities and costs involved, as well as the alternatives if they choose not to mediate. Once people realise that family mediation is less expensive than being represented in court proceedings, as well as being less stressful and quicker than the court process, most realise it is a conversation worth having.’
Local family mediator, Chris Myles, from Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors agrees, saying “Most divorces are not seen from a positive perspective as many will give you tales of woe about their experience. Increasingly separating couples are turning to alternate forms of dispute resolution, most successfully in my experience using mediation or the collaborative law process. Mediation allows you to reach decisions that are made for your family and fit for your personal circumstances rather than leaving the Court to make decisions for you. Many of the issues that will be important to the couple and their family may not carry the same weight or even be considered at all by the Court often leaving couples very dissatisfied with Court decisions rarely with clear winners but often with clear losers. Mediation is therefore perfect to consider such issues.’
Whilst family mediation clearly works, there are still low levels of awareness meaning families are still missing out. This is a particular concern where families are eligible for free mediation, via the legal aid scheme. Taking place from 20th-24th January 2020, Family Mediation Week aims to raise awareness of family mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively. You can find out more about the campaign by visiting www.familymediationweek.org.uk.
To contact Chris Myles to find out more about how family mediation can help you and your family, telephone Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors on 01904 624185.