If you choose wisely, you are far more likely to have a successful family mediation, especially where children are involved. You will easily find family mediators listed on Google but how do you decide who can help you to reach that important agreement?
Know Who You Are Talking To
Many websites provide reams and reams of information about mediation and whilst some have value, they tend not to list their family mediators, why? Well, many are lead generation sites. You call a telephone number and depending on where you live, they allocate your enquiry to any number of mediators. All reputable family mediation practices will have an ‘about us’ page, that introduces their family mediators. This is a good thing.
Next, speak to them. You under no obligation to use their services but by speaking with them, you will get a good idea of whether they may be right for you. Many family mediation practices are run by their owners and this isn’t a bad thing. However, by being a lone mediator or partnership, they will often be doing all the administration, advertising, and correspondence themselves. The downside to this is often a much slower service and waiting for appointments. Those slightly larger practices that have administrators often provide a speedier service, much quicker appointments, and more importantly, faster engagement of the other party. Where child contact disputes are concerned, you want your family mediators to help resolve the issues faster.
Do They Offer Convenient Appointments?
Many family mediation practices operate in a similar way to solicitors. This is fine if you are happy with appointments between 9.00am and 4.00pm. A good mediation practice though, considers the convenience of appointment times, for those who work full-time, shift patterns, or issues with childcare. Find a family mediator that offers late evening appointments or even weekends, it will make it easier when a joint meeting with your ex-partner is scheduled.
Cost is always a factor, but remember that by using a family mediator, you will likely save yourself hundreds if not thousands in the long run. Basically, anything relating to child contact or finances as part of a divorce, you are best to consult a family mediator first, as if you are unable to reach an agreement, you may have to go to court and as you now know, you will need the signature of a qualified family mediator, a lawyer cannot sign-off the forms.
For a successful outcome to your mediation, the one really important factor is that you trust and respect your family mediator. The initial meeting or MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting) is an opportunity to get to know your mediator. Building a rapport with both parties is one key objective for a mediator. It helps gain your trust and makes for an easier mediation.
Contact Us for Family Mediation Services
Jeremy Howells, experienced family mediator and practice director for FMACS explains the application process and gives a fascinating insight into his thought process behind an application.
For more information about the Family Mediation & Counselling Service and our online family mediation appointments, please get in touch with us on 0330 113 0005 or you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.