More and more people are turning to mediation as an effective method for helping resolve conflict. FMACS have developed mediation packages specifically designed for social services. We work directly with parents, children and the wider family in helping them to find lasting solutions to disputes over care arrangements for children and disagreements following the breakdown of a relationship.
One of its key objectives focusses on circumventing children being taken into care by local authorities. It is already becoming evident that mediation as an alternative to traditional routes is reducing the need for legal proceedings and the high costs associated with hiring lawyers and court costs. It also means that there are more ‘win, win’ outcomes for parents rather than the inevitable ‘win, lose’ consequence handed-down by judges. The court system want more people to enter into mediation as an alternative for dispute resolution rather than choking-up the system, costing the tax payer millions of pounds each year. In terms of cost, there is no comparison.
It is widely estimated that the cost of mediation (in divorce cases) can be up to 75% cheaper than using lawyers to negotiate a settlement. Typically, the hourly rate of a mediator is less than half of a solicitor’s fee but they are no less experienced when it comes to working effectively with clients. The other major advantage is the length of time it takes to reach agreement for settlements. Solicitors will send an endless stream of letters back and forth, consulting briefly each time with their client, to finally end-up with an agreement. Mediation can achieve this in a few meeting over a very short period of time.
What we have noticed from feedback received is that relationships, post separation, can improve. Many divorces end acrimoniously and this often continues for many years. Mediation, brings separated couples together and gets them talking. It is often quite cathartic having to discuss and agree on the practicalities of the end of a relationship, one of clients told us. It also draws into sharp focus the impact a breakdown can have upon any children in the relationship. Skilled mediators will focus on this as it is such an emotive area.