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Family Mediation Week: 18-22 January 2021

With Family Mediation Week taking place from 18-22 January 2021, the family law team at Miles & Partners Solicitors in the City of London want to encourage anyone going through a divorce or any family dispute to consider using mediation to help resolve key issues, rather than choosing to take it to court.

Family Mediation Week aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help divorcing couples and separating families to resolve conflict and agree solutions collaboratively and productively.

What is mediation?

Family mediation is a healthier, constructive and positive approach to separating or getting a divorce. It aims to help couples to sort out their differences and common financial and family-based issues by sitting down and discussing possible solutions rather than facing a potentially bitter battle in court.

‘Family mediation can be a way of helping couples to regain control of their separation,’ explains experienced mediator Michelle Uppal, ‘Not only can they avoid going to court, couples can make decisions together and decide the future for their family amicably.’

What are the benefits of mediation?

There are many benefits to using mediation as the primary tool to work out issues surrounding separation and divorce.

  • Issues are generally resolved much faster than going through the courts. On average, it takes 110 days for matters to be finalised with mediation. In comparison, legal separations or divorces without mediation can take an average of 450 days.
  • The cost of mediation is usually lower than taking a case to court, which can be very costly.
  • Couples keep control of their separation or divorce, making decisions together in the best interests of their family.
  • The process is much less stressful and encourages a less confrontational approach. Lines of communication are kept open to help air concerns and find solutions to problems. It also makes separation easier on any children as proceedings are more likely to be amicable and structured positively.
What issues can be solved through mediation?

Any issue relating to divorce or separation can be discussed and settled through mediation at any stage of the proceedings. The most common issues include:

  • financial matters, including dividing assets and organising the details of maintenance allowance;
  • decisions regarding children, such as living arrangements and visitation rights;
  • property disputes; and
  • dealing with any debts.
The role of the mediator

A mediator’s role is to help you through the process of settling key issues outside the courtroom. They will provide you with all the information you will need about the legal aspects of your separation, as well as explaining all the available paths for you to resolve your issues. It is important to remember that the mediator will remain impartial and will never take sides or encourage you to take a specific course of action.

At Miles & Partners, our head of the divorce and family team Michelle Uppal, was recognised as a Leading Mediator in the 2019 Legal 500 awards. She was described as being ‘very thorough and very approachable’ and an ‘experienced mediator with a very intuitive understanding of family dynamics.’

If you would like more information about how Miles & Partners can help with separation, divorce and mediation, please contact Michelle Uppal 020 7426 0400 or email mu@milesandpartners.com. To find out more about Family Mediation Week, please click here.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Michelle Uppal, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Michelle Uppal

Partner
Mediator and Solicitor | Head of the matrimonial department

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