Family mediation is a process available for separating couples who wish to work together, with a trained mediator, to discuss honestly and respectfully issues that matter to them following the breakdown of their relationship and to reach agreement about what will happen in the future in relation to their children and the division of financial assets without having to go to court to settle their disputes.
Before deciding if mediation can help you it is important to understand the following:
1. Mediation is Voluntary:
You will only be able to mediate if both you and your ex partner or spouse are willing to attend and participate in joint mediation sessions. In your first meeting with Juliette you will be asked to formally confirm that you are willing to attend and participate in the mediation process. If one of you decides that they are unwilling to attend mediation then it will not be possible to mediate.
2. Mediation is Confidential
Everything you or your ex spouse or partner say in mediation is confidential. Juliette has a duty of confidentiality to both of you with a couple of exceptions and these exceptions will be explained to you by Juliette in your first meeting with her.
3. The Mediator is Impartial
As your mediator, Juliette’s role is to be impartial. This means that Juliette will not take sides; nor will she apportion blame or try to force one party to see the other party’s point of view. Juliette will, however, encourage both of you to take an active part in the mediation process and to speak openly. Juliette will ensure that both of you adhere to the ground rules of mediation which include speaking to each other in a respectful and dignified manner and being open and honest in your discussions.
4. You make the decisions:
It is for you and your ex partner or spouse to reach solutions together. Juliette will not make decisions for you or tell either of you what is going to happen. The purpose of the mediation process is for you and your ex partner or spouse to reach decisions together and decide what is in the best interests of any children you have.
5. Mediation is not marriage guidance.
Mediation is for couples who have decided to separate but wish to work together with the help of a mediator to resolve their disputes about the children or financial matters away from the courts.
6. Mediation isn’t easy.
It takes courage for two people who are no longer in a relationship together to sit down and talk about how to make arrangements work in the future for the benefit of each other and their children. Often incidents, arguments and events have happened in the past between a couple giving rise to feelings of anger, bitterness and rejection and making the reaching of an agreement between them difficult and challenging. However, with time, patience and the assistance of a trained mediator, solutions can be reached and achieved that would otherwise have been considered impossible had it been just left between the two of them.
7. Mediation isn’t just talking – it’s listening too.
Mediation not only requires the two of you to sit down and talk to each other, it requires the two of you to sit down and listen to each other. Often in arguments there is an overwhelming need to express one’s own position without listening to the other person’s side. This approach can lead to couples becoming polarised and looking in opposite directions when, if they remembered to listen to each others needs, they would discover that they often have a lot in common and share common goals for the future.
Common ground is often fertile ground for the seeds of a solution to grow. Mediation helps you both find that fertile ground and identify possible solutions.