Mediation is one of the most popular and effective methods of resolving matters through discussion, particularly when it comes to issues which arise following separation and the care of children.
We offer a fixed fee mediation package including intake session, mediation sessions as well as a comprehensive mediation summary. Get in touch and we will be able to discuss this in more detail with you.
Being invited to “go to mediation” suggests that a constructive conversation with an open mind may lead to a resolution. It is a voluntary process. It shouldn’t be mistaken for counselling or an attempt at reconciliation.
Each person to the mediation will get the chance first to meet the mediator and speak about the reasons for going to mediation. This is often called the “intake session”. As part of the intake session you may be asked to fill in a form to give some background to your circumstances.
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The next step is to have a joint mediation session - a meeting with you, the other person and the mediator. The mediator is not there to solve your problems but can help the conversation. You have the chance to find your own solutions. Depending on how things go, the joint mediation session might last around an hour or two.
Often the mediator will offer to prepare a summary of the conversation, particularly where further independent legal advice is required. A key strength of mediation is that it is confidential and therefore cannot be referred to in court proceedings – the point is to have an open conversation.
Our most frequently asked questions:
What is mediation in divorce?
Mediation is a voluntary process which is designed to provide separated couples with a means of resolving their family dispute away from court. With the help of an impartial mediator, they can discuss issues arising from the breakdown of their marriage or civil partnership and identify how those issues might be resolved.
During the mediation sessions, the mediator will help parties to focus on communicating more effectively with one another, to identify common ground, and to discuss the best way forward. Information is shared with the mediator and discussed during the mediation sessions with the aim of reaching an agreement.
Mediation can be used to resolve a wide variety of issues which may arise following a separation, including financial matters and issues around the care and upbringing of children. Family disputes are often extremely fraught and can be emotionally difficult for both parties, so it is important to select a specialist family mediator who is experienced in dealing with the complex dynamics that may exist in families and between separated couples. In family mediation, the mediator may also be a qualified family lawyer. Although the mediator cannot provide legal advice to either party, they understand the legal rules that apply and can provide some general guidance about how a court may approach a particular situation. Parties can take advice from their own lawyers in relation to any proposals or suggestions made during mediation. Otherwise, discussions at mediation are confidential and cannot be referred to outside mediation unless both parties agree.
Mediation may not be suitable in all circumstances, but the mediator can explore any concerns with parties before mediation commences. Most mediators will arrange separate intake session with each person before the joint mediation sessions begin. This allows the mediator to determine whether mediation is appropriate and to identify the issues in dispute. Mediation cannot proceed unless both parties are willing to engage in the process.
Is mediation legally binding?
An agreement reached at mediation is not legally binding. However, parties can instruct their solicitors to prepare a formal Minute of Agreement incorporating what has been agreed between them at mediation. A Minute of Agreement is a written contract which, once signed by both parties, becomes legally binding.
How long does mediation take?
Mediation can continue until an agreement is reached, or for as long as all parties consider mediation continues to be beneficial. The duration of the mediation process can vary, and will often depend on the scope of the issues to be resolved. Sometimes matters can be resolved in one or two sessions, but most mediations will take place over several sessions. It can be difficult for the mediator to determine at the outset how many sessions will be required, but that may become clearer as the mediation progresses.
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The benefit of mediating with a family lawyer mediator is that they understand the underlying legal framework. They also have the experience of dealing with most issues couples and families living apart face.
Our family lawyer mediators can arrange mediation quickly and at a time that suits you. Because of our experience in dealing with international family law issues, we can also mediate for families where they have complex issues which span across more than one jurisdiction.
Mediation key highlights
- Our family lawyer mediators are accredited by the Law Society of Scotland.
- We have the largest number of accredited family lawyer mediators in Scotland.
- Our family lawyer mediators are members of the Scottish association of family lawyer mediators, CALM Scotland.
Get in touch with a member of our Family team
Our divorce lawyers, family solicitors and mediators are personable and approachable. Our objective is to resolve matters for you as efficiently as possible, so that we can get the best outcome for you and your family.