Family Mediation Mythbusters

The complete legal service

At Alan Simpson & Co we offer Family Mediation to separating couples. Let us bust a few myths for you about Family Mediation:-

1- “Mediation is for couples who want to get back together, it’s a type of marriage guidance”.

WRONG! Mediation is designed for people when their family relationship has broken down. It is an alternative to going to court and a great place to start to find out the useful information you will need.

2- “You have to get along, otherwise mediation won’t be suitable for you."

WRONG! Family Mediators are trained to help people have difficult conversations. Mediators are used to dealing with those caught up in high conflict situations.

3- “If we go to Family Mediation then the Mediator will tell us what to do.”

WRONG! The Mediator is impartial, this means that they don’t take sides. The Mediator is not a judge and they don’t make decisions. They work with you, so that you can make the decisions for your family’s future - putting you in control.

4- “If I don’t agree to mediate this will go against me if the case goes to court.”

WRONG! The family courts do expect you to have been to a meeting with a family mediator, known as a MIAM meeting. This is a meeting with just you, so it is not mediation. The MIAM meeting is so that you can find out all about mediation and consider if it will be helpful to you. However, Mediation is a voluntary process. This means you cannot and should not be forced to attend mediation. It also means that if you choose to try mediation you cannot be forced to continue with it. The choice is yours and yours alone.

5- “Mediation is very expensive and if it fails the money will have been wasted.”

WRONG! Mediation is generally considered to be the MOST cost effective route to dealing with family disputes. The costs are shared by those attending and as a result you are effectively only paying half the fees. Family disputes left to fester may end up costing you more than money alone. Very often mediation will provide positive benefits even if the whole case is not settled.

6- “Children can’t be involved/spoken to within the process, so we won’t know what they want.”

WRONG! The last two years have seen a huge rise the involvement of children in the family mediation process. If you think this may be relevant to your situation, then you should speak to a family mediator without delay. We are specially trained mediators offering Child Inclusive Mediation, where appropriate.

7- “Mediation is a waste of time, as what we decide isn’t legally binding”.

WRONG! Whilst it is true that mediation is not a legally binding process, decisions made will be formalised and if you really need or want a court order then the mediator’s document will be the ‘blue print’ for the order/contract drafted by solicitors. Having discussed and agreed proposals in advance you will have reduced the likelihood of dispute. You will have discussed and understand in detail why you want the arrangements proposed, narrowing areas for dispute and making those decisions far more likely to be adhered to and complied with.

Mediation is generally considered to be the MOST cost effective route to dealing with family disputes.

The benefits of family mediation are now widely recognised.

Seeing a Family Mediator at an early stage will help you to keep disputes to a minimum and ensure that as much of your money and resources are used for things you need them for most, benefiting you and your family.

Mediation can take place at a pace that suits you; at times that are most convenient to you (unlike court hearings that will be made without reference to you and once listed cannot be changed). Mediation puts you in control, as you make the decisions, rather than a stranger imposing decisions on you, that usually no one likes.

So if you are separating or having difficulties over the arrangements for your children or need to sort out a dispute on a property, then why not give us a call? Sybilla Agasee is our family mediator and you can reach her on 01268 745406 or

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