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Family Law Consultant Sabina Smith offers advice on mediation during Family Mediation week.

Its national Family Mediation Week! Family mediation offers a forum for separating or divorcing couples to discuss their future arrangements in a positive, co operative way, with the guidance and support of a trained family mediator. Mediation can be used to work out what will happen to the family home, how the family finances will be covered, how debts will be cleared or how other assets such as pensions will be shared. Research shows that arrangements reached by agreement, particularly with the help of mediation, give the couple a sense of ownership and investment in their future arrangements. And arrangements reached in this way are more likely to be kept to by both partners and to work satisfactorily in the long term.  

Mediation is also well suited to resolve issues around the children, such as where they will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. It is important for parents to maintain good communication after the divorce as they continue to co parent in the years to come, and we know that mediation provides a good basis for developing an effective co parenting relationship after divorce.

Whilst attending mediation, both members of the couple will usually still need their own legal advice in the background, to check that the ideas being discussed in mediation are also in line with what the law says about how financial assets should be shared, or how often the children should spend time with each parent. Then once a set of proposals have been reached, it is often necessary (particularly with financial matters) to obtain court orders to confirm the agreement – again this is where legal assistance is required.

Rebecca Procter 2

Here at Wollens we understand the benefits of mediation, how it works for our clients in the context of separation and divorce, and the role that we as lawyers have in the process. Two members of our team, Rebecca Procter and Sabina Smith, have themselves trained and practised as family mediators. We all work regularly with a number of experienced family mediators in the Devon area and beyond, and can help you identify the right mediator for your situation. We can also provide you with advice about the government’s voucher scheme, and the availability of legal aid, to help meet the mediator’s fees.

If you or someone you know needs support please contact us at an early stage.

You can contact Sabina Smith on 01392 539206 or email [email protected]

You can also complete an online enquiry form or email [email protected] . One of the Wollens team will contact you as soon as they are available.

Family law