What is Family Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. The ethos of Mediation is to provide people with an opportunity to try and resolve matters as swiftly and amicably as possible.  The process involves both parties being supported by one independent and impartial family mediator, to enable discussions between them regarding the issues that they have, and to help them find mutually acceptable solutions.

Does the Mediator decide what we do?

The outcome of mediation is determined by the people involved. The mediator does not act as a Judge or make decisions for you. They support people in mediation to try and find solutions. Therefore, the power of decision making rests entirely with the mediation clients involved, rather than somebody else making decisions for them.

What sort of issues can mediation cover?

Family mediation can help with all sorts of issues including child arrangements and other child related matters, separation, divorce, or financial issues.

How does it work?

Both clients need to have an intake appointment known as a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). These meetings takes place separately and not with the other person involved. The mediator will explain to you what mediation is, and you can decide whether you think it is suitable for you. The mediator is under a professional obligation to also assess whether they think mediation is right for each client.

After the MIAM appointments, if both clients want to proceed, the first mediation session will be arranged to take place. Generally, mediation sessions last for about 1 to 1½ hours, but the quicker agreements can be reached, the shorter the time involved and therefore the more cost effective it can be.

Legal Aid is still available for mediation, but only where the mediation service has a legal aid contract. This is not the case for large number of mediation services.

Is mediation right for me?

There are lots of benefits to Mediation. Whether it is discussing matters together and being able to resolve the issue more quickly, the significant cost savings compared to non-mediated options, or the opportunity to agree amicably, mediation is a very positive option.

Decisions relating to you, or your family, will not be made by others. Mediation can help to avoid the stress and cost of court proceedings.

A MIAM appointment is the best way to find out if mediation is right for you, and to make sure you understand exactly what is involved.

Family Mediation Solutions 

We have a dedicated family law mediation service called Family Mediation Solutions with three mediators, Tanya Bloomfield, Alister Jones and Nicola Merson, the former two being both fully accredited. We are the largest mediation service in Darlington and the surrounding area and provide mediation services across Darlington, County Durham and North Yorkshire.

In order to arrange a MIAM or for more information, you can contact us on 01325 289 856, or email us at darlington@familymediationsolutions.co.uk