One of the many challenges of the COVID pandemic is the strain placed on marriages and relationships as a result of homeworking, restrictions on external stimulus, health concerns, financial uncertainty and, as a result, friction that can tip over quickly under the strain.
The hope is that marriages and relationships have weathered the COVID storm, and we can support and refer those clients for whom this is an objective. However, many couples who have concluded that the marriage has broken down beyond repair, seek to resolve issues arising as amicably and fairly as possible with the interest and welfare of children being at the forefront.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process, optional for both parties, and is now undertaken by many couples. It is entirely forward-looking, from the point of separation, with the aim to reach legally appropriate proposals for a financial settlement or children arrangements, or both.
During a series of joint meetings (which can be held remotely), a specialist family solicitor mediator can guide and inform parties in dealing with financial disclosure, and having done so to assist the parties to reach their own proposals in setting individual objectives and the needs of the whole family.
Safeguarding screening and conflict checks are undertaken for all potential mediation clients. Your safety and wellbeing are our primary objectives, and if our family mediators consider that the process is not suitable, for any reason, we will notify you and your partner, but without breaching any confidences.
It is always recommended that prior to, or during the course of, mediation, clients seek independent confidential advice from a specialist family solicitor from another firm. For couples who are undertaking mediation at other solicitors’ practices or with non-lawyer mediators, we are pleased to offer advice and support through the process, and to undertake the preparation of legal documentation upon conclusion.
The courts and the government are continuing to encourage mediation as an alternative to the court system, which can be both costly and stressful. It is also more likely that by engaging in mediation as a process to reach child arrangements on separation, or to make proposals for financial settlement, parties can maintain effective communication and thus better co-parent post separation and divorce.
At TWM, you can talk to one of our specialist family solicitor mediators about whether mediation would be suitable. We are also able to offer family mediation to help with issues between separating couples who are not married.
For further details about our Family and Matrimonial services, please click here.