Despite the fact that mediation has been an alternative means of resolving disputes for
some considerable time, there is still uncertainty about what it is and what it involves.
Family mediation is, in essence a conversation between two people who have been in a
relationship, or are in a relationship that is ending. On occasions it is a conversation
between family members, e.g. grandparent and parent. Mediation is open to anybody
affected by family breakdown including separation, divorce and dissolution of civil
partnership. It is a process where an independent, professional, trained mediator will help
you identify what the issues are, find a workable solution which both people believe to be
the best one available and explain how you might make the agreement legally binding.
The mediation process
Before any joint meetings, the mediator will meet with both people individually to find
out what the concerns and/or difficulties are and what issues need resolving. The
mediator will provide information about mediation and answer any questions or
concerns people have about what happens next.
These individual meetings will then be followed by a series of face to face meetings,
where the mediator will set an agenda and facilitate calm, focused, safe and
constructive conversations. The meetings are usually held with both people meeting
together with a mediator, although arrangements can be made for each person to have
a separate room with the mediator moving between them, or for the meetings to be
Where appropriate, the mediator can also arrange to have a separate meeting with
children to enable them to also have a voice.
Following each meeting the mediator will provide a written summary of the meeting
and any decisions made. At the end of the process, a more detailed document outlining
the agreement and, where relevant, a summary of the financial position will be
What can be discussed in mediation?
The discussions can be about anything that both people agree to discuss and mediate.
Common topics for discussion include:
- Arrangements for children, including how much time is spent with each parent or other family member(s).
- How assets will be divided.
- What happens to the family home.
- What happens to pensions
- What happens to debts
- Maintenance payments to be made.
Advantages of using mediation
Mediators are flexible and work in ways that are tailor-made for the situation.
Enables people to make long-term solutions that are in their family’s best interests.
People maintain control of their own decisions instead of handing this over to courts.
Less stressful, quicker and cheaper than going to court.
You can find out more about mediation on our website www.greensmediation.org by
contacting Greens Family Mediation Services by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by
calling 0121 233 2090.