Family mediation is often done in the months following divorce or separation. It is a way of helping couples search for their own solutions to any disputes they may be experiencing. It is not some form of psychiatry, as some believe; it is simply being able to discuss issues in front of an impartial third party to help people find solutions they might have missed, without things getting too heated.
Family mediation is growing in popularity and is now used for many issues such as disputes between children and their parents, upset or angst over caring for seriously ill relatives or elderly relatives, children becoming homeless through family arguments, or even disputes over contact with an absent parent or grandparents.
So what happens during family mediation? Both parties explain their concerns to the other in front of a family mediator. The mediator is not on anybody’s side but is there to help both parties. Occasionally, the mediator might suggest ways of solving the issue, to discuss the options, but will never tell either party what they should or shouldn’t do. In addition, the mediator might provide information on legal matters but, again, will not and cannot give advice on what to do. So, if legal advice is needed, the mediator will recommend seeing a solicitor. In some instances, it is useful to see a solicitor when agreement is met, or between sessions, so that each party can be certain that whatever is agreed is fair to them.