Family mediation is a process in which a professionally trained mediator, who is independent to both parties, helps you work out arrangements for your child(ren) and/or the division of finances following separation.

Family mediation is available to separated couples, whether or not they have been married or have formed a civil partnership as well as cohabitees and those who have children together but have not been married. Our mediators can help agreements be reached without the need for court intervention.

Mediation can be particularly helpful when arrangements that have previously been made need to change, particularly as children grow up or reach significant milestones i.e. applications for secondary school.

Mediation is a voluntary process and therefore no one will make you do anything against your wishes. This helps you stay in control of the process at all stages.

At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we are proud to have two fully accredited solicitor mediators, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon. Associate Kelly Brown is also currently undertaking her training to become an accredited mediator and join the ranks. Solicitor mediators are individuals who are dual qualified as family law solicitors as well as fully accredited mediation specialists. Being solicitor mediators allows our team to bring you specialist insight as to how the court may deal with your particular circumstances, should an agreement be unable to be reached, but also allows our mediators to confidently present the legal framework to which the court and other professionals will be working within, should the matter progress to court.

Our mediators will endeavour to help you find a solution that works for you both, and once an agreement has been reached, will explain what needs to happen in order to make any agreement between you legally binding. Unfortunately, being your mediator will prohibit our firm from acting as your solicitor as well and completing any work needed to make any agreement legally binding.

Undoubtedly, the mediation process is less stressful, significantly quicker, and more cost-effective than going to court. Court proceedings often result in a lengthy, drawn-out process within which both parties strike up opposing positions with the aim to have the court determine issues in their favour. Mediation allows parties to speak directly with each other, in a safe and non-prejudice environment, allowing for the sharing and negotiation of ideas, offers and suggestions which unfortunately are seldomly possible during a court process. This allows creative solutions to be thought of and agreed upon, that work best for your family, as opposed to arrangements being determined by a judge with little to no knowledge of what may or may not work for your circumstances.

An additional bonus is that there are a range of government schemes and incentives to promote mediation, such as mediation vouchers being available for parties to access as well as legal aid being more widely available to parties from a low-income background.

Why choose mediation?
  • Mediation can encourage a more problem-solving lateral thinking, and permits a creative approach to be taken allowing for solutions to be reached that are bespoke and individual to your family.
  • Mediation may assist communication between parties by helping to defuse hostility and allowing both parties to feel 'heard' and understood.
  • A mediator can provide information and inform parties of possible courses of action far quicker than those directions being provided or ordered by the court.
  • Due to mediation being confidential and without prejudice, it increases the likelihood that a mutually acceptable outcome can be reached.
  • Mediation minimises the impact on children as they are not subject to protracted litigation and/or needed to be spoken to by professionals.
  • Parties retain control over decision-making and agreements reached rather than placing the decision-making ability in the hands of the court and a judge who neither knows them nor their family circumstances.
  • Parties can save substantial costs. In our experience, if an agreement can be reached, this will be achieved within two to four sessions of mediation as opposed to thousands of pounds being spent by each party instructing solicitors and barristers within court proceedings.
For more information

For further information about the mediation services Anthony Collins Solicitors can offer, please contact Eve Downer or call 0121 212 7413.