What Does a Family Mediator Do? The Roles and Reasons

If you’re separating from your partner, and have lots of extras to organise, then you might want to consider working with a family mediator. Read on to find out what they can help with…

Going through a divorce or separation is far from easy. Not only will you have to deal with a heavy emotional burden, you’ll also have the added stress of having to make suitable arrangements with your former partner about a whole range of different matters.

Unfortunately, that’s not always going to be straightforward, particularly if you and your partner didn’t part ways amicably. That said, you’ll need to cooperate if you’re going to be able to sort out all of the logistical issues that come hand in hand with separation. Most important of these is making arrangements for any children in the relationship.

That’s where a family mediator can step in. But what does working with a resolution trained mediator entail? That’s where this short guide should come in handy…

What is a Family Mediator and What do They Do?

Put simply, a family mediator is a trained professional who can meet with yourself and your former partner to help solve any disputes. This might concern matters such as your children, finances or living arrangements.

You and your former partner will be given the opportunity to meet your family mediator in an introductory meeting. Following this, you’ll both have mediation sessions where you have the chance to sit together and talk through the issues that are undermining your separation.

If you don’t feel comfortable sitting in the same room as your former partner for your mediation, you’ll be given the opportunity to carry out the same process, but with your mediator going between different rooms.

Importantly, family mediators cannot give either you or your former partner legal advice. Their role is strictly to listen to both of your points of view, encourage a productive conversation, and make practical suggestions to help you come to an agreement.

If any agreement is reached following mediation, your mediator will write a ‘memorandum of understanding’ which shows what’s been agreed during the session(s). 

What Can a Family Mediator Help to Solve?

There are wide range of different matters a family mediator can help you and your former partner to solve. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Child maintenance payments
  • Practical arrangements for children
  • How finances will be split
  • What happens to property you own
  • Working through the details of a pre-nup or post-nup agreement

Why Should I Work with a Family Mediator?

Now you know what a family mediation does, you might be wondering why it might be the best approach for your individual situation. Well, here are a few of the reasons why working with a family mediator is right for you and your former partner…

Reduce the Chances of Going to Court

The idea of going to court is scary, right? This means it’s something most people will want to avoid if at all possible.

Working with a mediator can mean that court is nothing more than a hypothetical situation. If you can come to an agreement during mediation sessions, then no further action will be required, and both you and your former partner can get on with the rest of your lives.

Much Cheaper in the Long Run

Court is stressful enough in itself, but the costs involved make it an even less attractive prospect. If you end up going to court, the legal fees involved can seriously mount up, which is why mediation should always be the first place to start.

Working with a family mediator isn’t free, and the more meetings you have the higher the costs are likely to be. However, in the long run, family mediator fees don’t come close to potential legal fees.

Can Sometimes Help to Build a Stronger Relationship Moving Forward

If you have built a life together with your former partner – such as having children – then you’re going to have to face up to the fact that you’ll need an effective relationship moving forwards.

That doesn’t mean to say you need to be friends, or even see one another regularly. It just means that you need to learn to cooperate with one another, for the sake of your children. Working with a mediator can often help to foster that new relationship, as it will iron out any kinks that are currently causing friction. 

Arrangements Made in Mediation Can Be Flexible

Court orders are final and usually cannot be disputed or otherwise tweaked. Arrangements made during mediation are much more flexible, which means you can make alterations when circumstances change further down the line.

Mediation is Ultimately Easier on Your Children

If you’re separating from your partner, you should always be mindful of the effect it can end up having on your children. They’re bound to be finding the new arrangements difficult to accept, and the situation is only likely to be made worse if things need to be sorted in the courts.

Your family mediator will always look to put your children at the heart of your discussions, making sure that they are well looked after. That is, after all, always going to be both yours and your partner’s main priority.

Are you Considering Using a Family Mediator?

There we have it! Going through a divorce or separation is never going to be easy, but it can be made that much more manageable if you choose to work with a mediator when making arrangements with your former partner.

Have you ever worked with a family mediator before? If so, feel free to leave a comment below with your own tips and advice, so we can share as much information as possible!

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