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Thinking of separating? What should my first step be?

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When the Christmas cheer does not continue into the New Year!

The festive period and January can be a difficult time of year for families.    Couples who have already separated may have issues in relation to agreeing Christmas contact arrangements with both parents wishing to spend Christmas morning with their children.   In addition with lots of family gatherings and pressure to get the perfect present, it can lead to financial and emotional strain on a couple’s relationship.    For some, the end of the Christmas period seems an appropriate time for a new start to the New Year.

Thinking of separating? What should my first step be?

You can go down the traditional route and arrange a meeting with a local family solicitor to discuss your options or you can arrange to meet with a mediator.

What is mediation?

Family Mediation assists couples dealing with separation or divorce in a non–judgemental and co-operative way. The Mediator remains completely impartial and does not take sides; they are independent and unable to provide legal advice to either party, although they can provide legal information.

Whilst it may seem daunting to speak face to face with your ex-partner and discuss issues whilst emotions are running high, the Mediator is there to help keep the parties focused, offering a helping hand and concentrating on what really matters.

What are the advantages to attending Mediation?

  • Mediation eases the pain of family breakdown as it reduces tension and hostility;
  • Helps the parties make informed decisions;
  • Keeps a communication channel open to discuss issues in hand and helps build on future relationship, especially where children are involved;
  • It is less expensive than negotiating through solicitors and attending court;
  • It helps children by showing parents working together to resolve issues;
  • It allows the parties to retain control over the outcome (and not a Judge) whilst working at a pace that suits both parties;
  • It helps you reach a solution that is right for your family.

Will I still need a solicitor?

Mediators encourage parties to contact their solicitor during the Mediation process.  It is often important that legal advice is sought in support of Mediation.

We offer legal aid for mediation and we can carry out an assessment at our initial meeting to see you if you are eligible.

For further information in regards to the above please email me at or alternatively contact me on 01904 624185.