In the majority of cases, family mediation is successful and works for both parties involved. But in order to assess if it’s right for you and your (soon to be) ex, here are a few points to consider and a bit more about the process.
Before family mediation starts, each client will have an individual, confidential meeting with me, Polly, your family mediator. Part of the purpose of this meeting is to work out if family mediation is right for you.
The following circumstances would lead to a discussion about whether family mediation is appropriate;
- One or both clients do not feel safe being in the same room or same building as the other. The mediator also needs to feel safe.
- There has been domestic violence or abuse. If there has been domestic violence, this does not in itself rule out family mediation. However, we will need to feel confident that it will be safe to mediate and for the clients to attend a meeting in the same room (obviously you do not have to travel or arrive together). Sometimes we agree arrangements so that one person can arrive earlier or leave later and to ensure that they are not left alone with the other person.
- Equally, if there has been a history of controlling behaviour and emotional abuse, this does not rule out family mediation. But we need to feel confident that both clients feel able to put their point of view and have that point of view heard. If you are worried about domestic violence, click here for more information.
- One or both clients are not yet “emotionally ready” for mediation. Some people are still in emotional shock when they first come into family mediation. They will need to process some of the emotions before they are in a place where they are able to make rational decisions about their future. Click here for more information on whether you are emotionally ready for mediation.
- One or both clients do not wish to mediate. Family mediation is a voluntary process and we cannot proceed unless both clients wish to do so. The mediator may also choose not to proceed with mediation.
- If there were circumstances which might impact the mediator’s impartiality or there were a conflict of interest. For example, perhaps the mediator already knows one of the clients, or has some interest in the outcome of mediation. This would not necessarily mean that family mediation was not appropriate, just mediation with me specifically. If this is the case I can always recommend a mediator colleague.
- One or both clients are unable to make informed decisions. Clients must have the mental capacity to gather information to inform their decisions and the confidence to make decisions for themselves. Sometimes it is possible to offer additional support to a client who is struggling, but we are always alert to the continuing appropriateness of mediation.
There are also factors that might impact the success of mediation. Click here for more information.
If you would like to find out whether mediation might be appropriate for you, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07706 513496.