What is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a conversation. It takes place between two people who have been in some form of relationship which is ending.

Family mediators help you to turn your arguments into agreements and help you make decisions for the future which enable you to move on with your lives. It helps you focus on the issues affecting both of you, for example, parenting, property and money, and what to do about it all now that you are separated.

What is the mediation process?

Family mediation typically involves attending a series of face to face meetings together. Discussions are facilitated by a professional, trained mediator who will help you identify the issues, find a workable solution and gain clarity about the next steps. The mediator will provide a written summary at the end of mediation.

Before any joint meetings, the mediator will have met with you both individually to find out more about the issues that need resolving, give you more information about mediation and answer any questions or concerns you have about what happens next.

Our family mediators know that communicating after a separation is tough. So they are skilled at helping people work through issues they have to consider. These include emotional, practical, legal, financial and technical things.

Mediators working for our family mediation service are highly-skilled at helping when feelings are running high, at a time when co-operation is the last thing somebody expects from their ex.

What does Family Mediation cover?

The types of issues discussed in family mediation can include:

  • How your assets will be divided.
  • What happens to your family home.
  • Where the children will spend time.
  • Support payments to be made.
  • In fact, the agenda can be anything that you both agree to discuss and mediate.

Why use Family Mediation?

If you face divorce or separation and don’t know which way to turn, our family mediation service can help. That’s because it can enable you to agree arrangements for your children, property, finance and other important matters.

  • Family mediation is also much quicker, less stressful and usually cheaper than heading straight to court.
  • It enables you to shape long-term solutions that are in your family’s best interests.
  • The process allows families to keep control of their own destinies, instead of handing it over to courts.

Family mediation can also help in the years following your separation or divorce. The agreements you made when you first separated may no longer work for you as your circumstances change. Family mediation can help you to agree new arrangements that work for your new circumstances.

Find out more about National Family Mediation’s expert, professional, affordable mediation services

Watch this short video below to see how family mediation works

Who can use Family Mediation?

Our national mediation service is open to anybody affected by family breakdown including separation, divorce and dissolution of civil partnership.

Our family mediation service is also available to other family members. Grandparents may be having difficulties with contact arrangements, for example. And step-parents can use the process if they would like to support their new partner.

NFM’s approach to Family Mediation

Our style of family mediation gives you time to express yourself. We understand this is a difficult time. Our mediators will not rush you to solutions, or push you to make a hasty agreement. Instead, they focus on ensuring the outcome is truly what both people believe is best in the circumstances.

Our mediators can help you resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation. They help families make long-lasting arrangements that benefit everyone in the family, especially the children.

You may be surprised at the level of agreement you can achieve with the help of our expert, experienced family mediators. Only in exceptional cases is no agreement reached.

Our fully qualified mediators are trained in all aspects of family law. And we are the leading training provider for family mediators.

We are the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales. And we have 40 years of experience delivering expert professional family mediation (established in 1982).

We are local to you, as our network works in over 500 locations across England and Wales. Use this link to ‘find family mediation near me.’

What is the mediator’s role?

The mediator’s job is to make you aware of the things you each need to do to achieve a legal separation. So they help you to gather the information, facilitate the discussions, and help you develop options and solutions.

You can think of the mediator as the chair of the meeting, guiding people through their agenda. The mediator ensures each can express and spell out their thoughts and suggestions without interruption.

The mediator is there to help the discussion. The mediator ensures each person has time and space to put their views across. And they keep the discussions productive and safe.

Expertise and experience

Family mediators do not express a point of view or make a value judgement. Their expertise and experience allows them to give information to help you understand the legal and financial issues involved. And they can guide you to the best legal solution in your case.

Mediators are able to draw on their experience of what other people have done in similar circumstances. They help you look at the pros and cons of any particular course of action.

Making decisions

Decisions made will be noted by the mediator, and each of you will receive a written summary of these. You will also get any proposals that have yet to be agreed, and any actions that need to follow.

It means you don’t need to take notes. Instead, you can concentrate on the discussion and create your own solutions for your separated futures.

Our expert family mediators use a range of skills to help people plan for the future:

  • Helping you identify the things that you need to discuss.
  • Managing the agenda in a timely way.
  • Using questions to help people identify priorities and needs.
  • Listening to ensure your points are really heard and understood.
  • Summarising understanding.
  • Not taking sides, but encouraging self-determination.
  • Ensuring access to necessary information.
  • Helping people spell out arrangements to check they will work.
  • These skills are designed to help you decide for yourself what is best in all circumstances.
Read how family mediation helped Briony & Tom

“I was reluctant to try mediation I didn’t think it would work for me but I’m so glad I went ahead. Meeting the mediator at the MIAM gave me confidence that it could work for us and it did. We reached a full agreement and can now talk together like normal people especially about the children and how they are doing”