Family mediation as an alternative to court

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Family mediation as an alternative to court

Family Mediation Week runs from 16-20th January 2023. This is a campaign run by the Family Mediation Council to raise awareness of family mediation and the benefits it can bring to separating families.

Mediation has many advantages over going to Court and can often be a faster and cheaper alternative. It also allows the parties to remain in control and resolve important issues with respect as the parties make mutual decisions. This article looks at these benefits and how mediation might work for you and your family.

What is family mediation?

Family mediation is a process in which an impartial third-party mediator helps separating couples resolve disputes and to make lasting arrangements for the future of them and their family, without going to Court.

Benefits of family mediation to resolve disputes

Overall, using family mediation services to resolve issues has several advantages over going to Court, and should be considered in most cases. In fact, the Court will often expect parties to have attempted mediation prior to issuing Court proceedings.

A faster resolution

One of the biggest benefits of mediation is that it allows for a faster resolution than the traditional Court process. This is because mediation is a voluntary process, with no set Court timetables or deadlines to adhere to. This means that the parties involved can work at their own pace and resolve their dispute as quickly as they need. This flexibility is especially useful if the parties involved cannot meet at the same time or place, as mediation can usually take place over the phone or online and the parties can attend separate sessions if they prefer.


Another advantage of mediation is that it is much cheaper than issuing Court proceedings. This is partly because no Court fees need to be paid, and there are no legal expenses to be incurred.

More control

The parties involved in mediation also have much more control over the process than they would in Court, with the opportunity to collaborate. This means they can tailor the process to suit their needs rather than adhere to court rules or procedures. The parties will play an active role in reaching an agreement, rather than the Court adjudicating on the issue. In many cases, the arrangement will usually last longer when the parties both feel that they have had their say.

Preserve relationships

Finally, and oftentimes the most important advantage of family mediation is that it has the added benefit of preserving relationships between the parties involved. This is because it is a non-adversarial process, allowing the parties to come together to find a mutually beneficial solution.

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