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Family Mediation – What is it?

Family mediation is a process in which an impartial third party, the mediator, creates a safe and tranquil space to help couples who are going through separation or divorce to reach agreements for going forward on how to manage some of the most important issues in their lives: their separation, their children, their finances, their property. You may be about to split up or have been apart for some time, either way family mediation can be helpful.

Family mediation seeks to minimize the adversarial nature of separation or divorce and where children are involved, to save and nurture the parental relationship while ending the partnership.

Family mediation is conducted by qualified professionals who are trained, skilled and experienced in facilitating constructive negotiations and who are knowledgeable about and experienced in conflict management and ‘couple’ and family relationships. Family mediation works caringly, pragmatically and creatively at the intersection between therapy and law. Its process and approach helps former partners articulate and separate ‘interests’ over ‘positions’ e.g. I want to be a caring mother, over I want the children every weekend. When interests are clear, solutions and options can be developed more effectively.

The Family Mediation Process is managed by the mediator but the content, the issues up for discussion, are decided by you. Sometimes when there is family breakdown family members other than the children can be included in a mediation process but only if the separating couple are in agreement and wish for this to happen.

Your Children    If children are involved, mediation can assist parents to explore and consider their options and help them make, and when necessary or appropriate review, arrangements for their children as they move into new systems of living. As your children develop, arrangements may need to shift over time in order to reflect their changing needs, as well as your own, and so a more fluid situation may emerge over time. Mediation can assist in both the short and longer term. See more on 'What are the issues concerning children?'.

Finance & Property   When it comes to finance, former partners usually want to sort out what to do about their money, their family home or property but can often find it too difficult to discuss. Some people want to sort out their finances themselves but would like professional help in doing so. Mediation can help in both cases.

All Issues – Children, Finance, Property   Comprehensive or ‘all issues’ family mediation assists former partners to explore and consider their options for all three areas of potential dispute and to make arrangements they can live with for their separate lives in a dignified and fair way, taking careful account of the needs of everyone involved.

Susan Kaye is a trained and qualified civil, commercial and family mediator. She has a 30 year professional background as a qualified therapist and couples’/group counsellor and 20 years as an accredited family business adviser. Susan has extensive experience and expertise in relationship concerns and dispute resolution in both private and corporate life. As a family mediator Susan assists separating and or former partners, who are struggling to make life changing decisions to their systems of living, to find the common ground and work toward amicable solutions where a sense of win-win prevails. More...