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Mediation is also known as Non-Court Dispute Resolution (NCDR)

Family mediation offers couples a way of resolving issues that might arise when a relationship breaks down. Mediation has a wide range of benefits, both to the immediate couple who are separating, their children and their wider family too.

Family mediation is often a quicker and cheaper way of resolving issues than taking a dispute through the Family Law courts. Mediation allows couples to discuss a wide range of family issues with a view to resolving them together in a safe and confidential environment.

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Many couples who attend mediation manage to reach an agreement, and can therefore avoid the stress, expense, and delay of making a court application.  Couples who mediate are encouraged by their mediators to obtain legal advice alongside mediation, and mediated agreements can be formalised (with or without the assistance of solicitors) and can be made into binding court orders.

Mediation is conducted by an impartial mediator who encourages couples to take responsibility for discussions and decisions that are reached between them. The main aim of mediation is to come to a mutual agreement following an empowering process which allows both people to be truly heard.

Family mediation also focuses on any children of the relationship and places a strong emphasis on them being at the centre of a couple’s discussions and decisions. Research shows that it is the conflict from a separation which impacts negatively upon children both emotionally and physiologically. If conflict in separation can be reduced by parents working together this greatly reduces that negative impact on their children.

Mediation is not about reconciling as a couple but is about being given the opportunity to separate in a dignified manner, on terms that both parties are comfortable with, and find a good working relationship as parents for their children’s future where children are involved.

Family Mediation is becoming ever more popular with couples who have decided to separate, but who would prefer, where able, to work together to resolve what should happen now, rather than being told by the courts what to do. With the Family Law courts under increasing pressure at present with backlogs and delays, couples trying mediation as a first resort, rather than last, is being actively encouraged.

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