Produced in partnership with Suzanne Kingston of Mills & Reeve LLP

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Suzanne Kingston of Mills & Reeve LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Mediation—introduction
  • What is mediation?
  • Glossary
  • Main features
  • Who does it suit?
  • Advantages

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process by which an independent qualified mediator works with a couple to help them come to a mutual agreement. Some practical points to consider at the outset are:

  1. lawyer or non-lawyer?—it is helpful to discuss with the client when approaching a mediation whether they would prefer to appoint a lawyer or non-lawyer mediator and what the rationale for the decision is—some clients take the view that they would prefer children disputes, such as issues of residence and contact, to be mediated by a non-lawyer (often a therapist or social worker) and financial matters by a lawyer, however this is a case-by-case decision and should be considered carefully

  2. the nature of the dispute—consideration must be given at an early stage as to the appropriate mediator to instruct and the issues to be mediated eg children matters, finances or both will influence that decision

  3. sole mediation or co-mediation—historically mediators often worked in pairs and felt that having two mediators in a room with a couple balanced the approach to mediation and provided a better forum for the clients, however, more and more mediators are now undertaking sole mediation—in a mediation dealing with both children matters and financial issues, the co-mediation model may involve a lawyer and non-lawyer working together

  4. consideration should be given as to