The festive period and January can be a difficult time of year for families. Couples who have already separated may have had 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, and for some the end of the Christmas period seems an appropriate time for a new start to the New Year as they look to make plans to separate or divorce.
There is going to be greater encouragement by the Courts this year for families to resolve their issues by Mediation rather than resorting to the Court process. With the stress and strain of a relationship on separated couples, the thought of attending mediation can feel overwhelming. At the start of the process, you will be invited to attend a MIAM meeting without your ex-partner. The MIAM meeting is designed to provide you with information about the mediation process. At the first meeting you will not be faced with your former partner but you will have the opportunity to speak to a qualified mediator and see if mediation is right for you. Following April 2014 this will be compulsory before being able to make an application to court.
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.
If you are separating or divorcing or are already separated, family mediation can help you. Contact one of our Family Mediators for more information.