Introduction: MSUK Group complies with the requirements of Family Mediation Association MSUK Group will deal promptly and courteously with any complaint, formal or informal, made to the service. The cause of any problem of which a client has complained will be...
On Monday Lord Wolfson the Under Secretary of State for Justice and the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane spoke at the launch of Mediation Week. Both stated their desire to make mediation the default position for most family disputes. Lord Wolfson...
The Justice secretary Dominic Raab speaking to the justice committee of the House of Commons last week stated that over 50% of cases in the court system did not need to be heard by a judge. In November the Justice secretary outlined his plans that parents who are...
Why Should I Go Through Mediation?
David Ross is an Accredited Family Mediator (FMCA) and Lawyer and has worked in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for over 25 years. One of the questions that David is asked is “why should I go through mediation?” There are number of reasons in my professional opinion of why you should go through mediation if you have a dispute.
You make the decisions
One of the fundamental principles of mediation is that the participants get to make the decisions as opposed to a lawyer or a judge. Over my career I have observed the disappointment and frustration from clients who have not tried to resolve their dispute outside of court only to be left bitterly disappointment with the arrangements the court ordered. Court should always be seen as a last resort.
The costs involved are relatively low
The good news is that you can claim £500 towards the costs of mediation for any cases involving child arrangements or a case that involves a financial dispute over children. You will still be required to pay for a Mediation Assessment Meeting (MIAM) so the mediator can check if the case is suitable or not.
The average cost of a contested Family Dispute through the Courts is around £15,000 outside of London. Mediation costs a fraction of this and on average we can resolve cases in 3 sessions so it may cost you around £600 each. So, in my opinion it makes sense to try mediation and save your money.
Most cases are settled in mediation
The Family Mediation Council (FMC) reported back in September to the Ministry of Justice that over 77% cases reported to them on the voucher scheme resulted in whole or partial settlement. These statistics really do demonstrate that mediation works.
It is still voluntary
One of the key principles of mediation is its voluntary you will however be required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting or MIAM. The purpose of the MIAM is so the participants and the mediator can exchange information to help you decide the best options going forward. Sometimes mediation is not suitable especially if either participant has been the victim of domestic violence or there are some concerns over the welfare of the children involved. Moreover, most cases are suitable for mediation.
As part my responsibilities I am a panel member of the Greater Manchester Local Family Justice Board Private Law Subgroup. The benefit of being a member of this group means I can listen to judges, CAFCASS and the social services views and concerns about family disputes. What is very interesting to note is that the court are now starting to order mediation on many cases they believe are suitable were the participants have refused mediation previously. In many of these cases the court have imposed cost orders against individuals who have refused mediation without a good reason especially while the government are funding free mediation through the voucher scheme.
You do not have to see the other person
Since Covid there has been a huge increase in online shuttle mediation. Shuttle mediation means you do not have to see the other participant. The mediator will organise the mediation, so you are both in separate virtual meeting rooms and then shuttle between both meetings. Many participants who feel vulnerable or nervous prefer this option.
The process is confidential
All good mediators will hopefully create a safe controlled environment so participants can express their feelings and views on the issues raised in the mediation session. Because the process is confidential my experience of mediation is that participants are more likely to be honest about their thoughts and feelings which means we can often get to the root of the problem far quicker than if you were exchanging emails or letters from lawyers.
Look out for David’s next blog. If you need to speak to us to discuss any of the above, please call us 01925 393 532.