Now more than ever, family mediation is an invaluable tool for separating families. The courts are bursting at the seams with cases and the backlogs can be long. For divorcing couples with property and finances to sort out, or for parents who are struggling with the arrangements for their children, mediation can provide a much faster, more cost-effective route to resolving their issues. The process encourages a more collaborative approach to problem solving which many people find less stressful.
Mediation is all about communication: if two people can understand each other’s concerns and goals, and feel that they have been heard, often a solution can be found.
Mediation can also help a separated couple to communicate more effectively in the future, which is of paramount importance when young children are involved and there are many years of co-parenting ahead.
While the way Hamers delivers family mediation has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the service is just as accessible, effective and reliable.
I have been conducting my mediations via Skype video calls, which allows everyone to see each other from the comfort of their homes. It also means distance is no longer an issue if a person has moved away, and if the participants are still living under the same roof, they can attend the meeting from separate rooms.
Using Skype is simple. It involves downloading a simple app and registering for a free account. Joining a session is also straightforward: there is no need to remember any log-on details or passwords – you just answer the call.
Usually, two or three sessions of family mediation are required, but every case is different and the timescale between meetings will vary from case to case. Some couples are keen to progress quickly and will ask for weekly sessions; others may want to trial an interim arrangement for a few weeks before returning to review how things are going and decide whether further progress can be made.
Liz Morris is an Accredited Family Mediator at Hamers Solicitors.
03 December, 2020
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