It is family mediation awareness week from 22nd to 26th January 2018 and the aim is to raise awareness of mediation for separating families.

So what is mediation?

Mediation is where the parties both meet with a trained mediator to attempt to reach an agreement over issues arising from separation. The parties are encouraged to discuss matters with a view to resolving them, although there is no pressure to do so. There are often several mediation meetings and parties are encouraged to take legal advice in between these meetings.

Why mediation instead of Court proceedings?

Court proceedings are costly, time consuming and stressful for both parties, and it is usual for neither party to be entirely satisfied with the outcome. Within mediation, parties are in control of the agreement that is reached, it is much more cost effective and it is less emotionally taxing than Court proceedings. It is also often much quicker than Court proceedings.

What issues can be resolved in mediation?

The parties can mediate on many issues but the main topics are:

  1. Divorce proceedings – who should start them and on what grounds?
  2. Financial matters – how should matrimonial assets be divided?
  3. Children issues – who should the children live with and how much time should they spend with the other parent?

Do you need a solicitor?

We recommend that parties instruct a solicitor alongside mediation to enable them to take legal advice before committing to any agreement.  If the parties reach an agreement on financial issues then it is essential that they incorporate that agreement into a financial Consent Order to ensure it is legally binding. One of the parties will need to instruct a solicitor to draft the Consent Order and the other party will be advised to obtain legal advice on the Consent Order before signing it.

Why choose THP?

We have skilled and experienced solicitors who will help to guide you through this process.  We don’t want to detract from all that has been achieved through mediation, but we will dot the i’s and cross the t’s to help you ensure that the agreement that has been reached becomes legally binding.

For more information please contact:-

Richard Rodway or a member of his team in our Henley-on-Thames office on 01491 570900

Julia Drury or a member of her team in our Lower Earley office on 0118 975 6622


Briony Hawker

22nd January 2018