Sometimes a couple make a joint decision to separate. More often one person decides the relationship isn’t working while the other person thinks it could be mended.
Either way, a separation means things haven’t turned out as hoped. The future is likely to look uncertain.
So there’s usually a sense of loss and sometimes a lot of sadness, fear and anger. It’s difficult to sort things out direct with all that emotion swirling about.
Mediation gives you a safe space for an assisted dialogue to explore workable plans for the future.
As mediator my responsibility is to take you through a structured process where I assist you both to:
- identify what has to be sorted out
- capture what’s important to each of you and the children if children are involved
- assemble the information needed before you can make plans
- explore options and find common ground
- map out possible plans
My job is to be unbiased, to guide you both through those steps and help you communicate with one another constructively. I can prepare a non binding written summary at the end of the mediation if that would be helpful.
Your job is to use that structured process and even handed assistance to explore the options in a constructive way.
We sign an Agreement to mediate at the beginning which sets out the steps in the process and the commitment that it will be approached in a confidential, respectful and problem solving way.
Where do lawyers fit in?
You can always take advice from your lawyer at any stage in mediation. If you qualify for legal aid your lawyer would need to arrange for the cost of mediation to be covered by legal aid before we start.
If it is only about children sometimes parents chose to leave the arrangements on the basis of a shared understanding.
If mediation is about dividing up assets or you want a written agreement about arrangements about children then your lawyers are the ones who draw up a binding contract.