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24 Family Mediation

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1. Introduction

2. What is mediation?

3. Who can use mediation?

4. What can I use mediation for?

5. At what stage can I use mediation?

6. What if my partner is violent or threatening?

7. What if I don’t use mediation?

8. Do I still need a solicitor if I use mediation?

9. Is mediation the same as counselling?

10. What happens in mediation?

Mediation takes place in a private and informal setting, with usually only the two of you and the mediator (or sometimes two mediators).

Before mediation starts, the mediator will normally hold an assessment meeting, which you and your partner can attend either separately or together. Either way, you will be able to speak to the mediator on your own.

At this assessment meeting, the mediator will see if your case is suitable for mediation. They will also explain how mediation works, so you can decide whether this is how you would like to try and deal with issues to do with your relationship breakdown.

The mediator is there to help both of you and to make sure that:

  • you and your partner each listen to what the other has to say;
  • you understand each other’s needs and concerns; and
  • you try to find a solution.

The mediator will not tell you what to do and will not take sides, but they can share ideas with you and help you look at different solutions.

If you need to sort out financial arrangements, the mediator will ask you to fill in a form, giving full details of:

  • what you earn;
  • what you need to spend your money on;
  • your assets and property, and pension arrangements;
  • loans or other debts; and
  • other important information.

If you do not give correct and complete information to the mediator, a court could overturn any agreement you make.

11. Is mediation confidential?

12. How long does mediation take?

13. What happens at the end of mediation?

14. How much does mediation cost?

15. How do I find a mediator?

16. Further help

17. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC).

Leaflet Version: August 2008

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