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Family Mediation Week: What is Mediation?

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The 21st January to 25th January 2019 is Family Mediation Week. The aim is to let more people know about the benefits of mediation, and to encourage separating couples to consider family mediation as a way of helping them to take control of their situation and make decisions together.

What is mediation and how does it work?

Among the most difficult experiences a person can endure in their life is the breakdown of a marriage and with 42% of marriages ending in divorce, this is unfortunately an experience many will face.

Mediation is a way to resolve matters between separating parties without the need to go to Court. It is a very dynamic, structured interactive process whereby the parties involved in a separation meet with an impartial mediator in order to sort out disagreements and reach an agreement. This may concern issues relating to finances, property and children. A mediator cannot give you personal legal advice, but at Emery Johnson Astills, we can offer you that personal legal advice if you are going through a separation or divorce.

Why mediation?

Mediation allows parties to come to an amicable agreement which they both believe is fair. It gives parties more say about what happens, is less stressful and can help reduce hostility. Where children are concerned, mediation is often easier on the children as parents are communicating, cooperating and there is less conflict.

How many mediation sessions do parties usually need and how long do they last?

A session usually lasts 1 to 2 hours and in many cases, only a few mediation sessions are needed for couples to resolve matters which can make mediation an extremely cost effective approach to divorce or separation. That being said, the length and number of sessions required will very much depend on the situation itself.

Are any agreements made in mediation legally binding?

The mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding once the parties have come to an agreement although not all parties will reach an agreement. A Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding but they can be made legally binding by the Court. The parties should consult with a solicitor before committing themselves to a legally binding agreement.

At Emery Johnson Astills, we have a Family Law team who are able to offer you advice about making a Memorandum of Understanding legally binding.

Where can I find out more information about Family Mediation Week? 

If you would like to find out more information about Family Mediation Week then please visit

If you would like to discuss the issues raised in this article and/or need legal advice regarding a separation or divorce, please contact our Family Law Team at Emery Johnson Astills by telephoning 0116 255 4855.