What is family mediation?
Family mediation is where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex-partner to work out an agreement about the issues that remain to be sorted out between the two of you in order to achieve a full and fair separation.
At the time of separation things can be very raw and difficult between you. You may also be struggling with new ways of living and have little energy left for creative decision making.
This is where a mediator comes in
To help you both to cross that bridge and to get you to the other side. When people contact us, it is often because they have tried to talk the difficult issues through but they are not able to make agreements and they feel stuck. We can help. We have been tried and trusted by many people in your situation, before you.
At Horizon we have helped thousands of separating couples to make parenting arrangements for children of the family, to work out child maintenance payments and to separate out couples’ finances. couples
Family Mediation is also useful where people have been apart for some time, or things have changed and agreements previously made, need to be revisited. Or where couples separated many years ago, but never got round to a full and final financial separation agreement.
You will be aware of cases in the papers that without a legally binding arrangement, financial ties remain between you and can result in unintended consequences.
Family mediation can also help with keeping children in touch with their grandparents or step-families.
We make sure that mediation is safe for you
We let you know you know in advance how we will set up the meetings so that we are mediating safely.
Family Mediation differs from counselling or therapy. These professionals may want to look at the entirety of your relationship with you and they will be hoping to assist you in the repair of your relationship and to have a better understanding of why things went wrong.
Mediation is useful once you have made the decision that the relationship cannot be repaired and you simply want to discuss how to separate with as little cost and animosity as possible, and as quickly as possible.
Family Mediation differs from court
If you go to court a Judge (or a Magistrate) will make a decision about your family. You will both have to keep to these arrangements even if neither of you is that keen on them. A court order does not grow as your children grow and their needs change.
Family Mediation means you both keep control of the outcome. We can let you know how to make that outcome into a legally binding agreement . It can bind you as securely as if you had gone to court and asked the Judge or Magistrate to make an order, and can develop in line with the changing needs of your family.
In order to bring your marriage or civil partnership formally to an end, you will still have to do the initial paperwork and make that application to the court but you will not need to go to court and argue matters out in front of the Judge or Magistrate.. We can explain to you what needs to be done and how to start the process.
This video produced by the University of Essex gives a good picture of what Mediation involves.