What is Integrated Family Mediation?

Although taking part in mediation is a preferred approach to resolving your differences when separating, like anything new to you, the prospect of entering into mediation can be to some a daunting one. Not knowing what to expect from the process and a fear of feeling alone can however be mitigated by choosing a process called integrated family mediation.

Integrated family mediation offers an alternative for separating couples who are worried about coming to mediation on their own. It can involve solicitors, financial advisors or debt advisors being part of the discussions as they can be present to advise and support within the mediation meetings. This approach helps to reduce litigation, stress for the separating couple, and often avoids the need to go through the court process.

What are the advantages of Integrated Family Mediation?

There are many benefits to Integrated Family Mediation, some of these are listed below. It must be recognised however that employing the services and support of a professional (such as a solicitors or financial advisor) will come at an additional cost.

  • Integrated Family Mediation enables other professionals to use their skills, knowledge and solutions which makes the whole process better informed and more likely to achieve a workable, fair settlement.
  • It can be undertaken at any time both before any court proceedings are considered, but also where a couple find themselves already in the court process, allowing them to achieve a settlement, away from the stress, delays and costs of litigation.
  • Each family’s situation is different. Integrated Family Mediation can be tailored to the separating couples’ bespoke and unique needs.
  • Individuals may feel more in control and empowered if they have their own ‘team’ of advisors present, particularly if they are vulnerable or unsure about whether to attend mediation. This can be particularly useful if there is a concern about domestic abuse or an imbalance of power between the couple.
  • It can be effective in complex situations, for example where there may be complex financial arrangements including numerous houses and business interests. Also, in cases involving children where parents may have drug or alcohol issues, their support worker can attend and give up-to-date information about progress.
  • It can reduce the amount of time needed to go between the various advisors for advice. If a lawyer is present, documents such as a consent order can be prepared, saving time and money.
  • Decisions can be made when the separating couple have all the advice and support they need without having to arrange further appointments with other professionals.
  • Separate meetings mean that individuals do not have to share space with someone with whom they are uncomfortable, leaving them able to focus on the issues rather than deal with the stress of any conflict.
Mediation - Blocks spelling out Mediation

Am I Eligible for Integrated Family Mediation?

To know whether you are eligible for mediation of any kind, both of the separating couple must be seen separately by the mediator to assess whether mediation is appropriate and will look very carefully at issues such as safeguarding. As part of the same assessment meeting, the mediator will assess the individual separating couple and will consider whether hybrid mediation is best for them.

There are many forms of dispute resolution that can be chosen to help you resolve your differences and reach an amicable agreement when separating. All of which are aimed at keeping you our of court. For more information on the Alternative Dispute Resolution options see our Blog here.

Shelley Wales is a Partner here at Thornton Jones Solicitors and is head of our Family Dispute Resolution team. Shelley is trained to provide Integrated Family Mediation. For more information on our family law services visit our website or call us to make an appointment.

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☎️ Call our Wakefield office on 01924 290 029
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The content of this blog post is for information only and does not constitute formal legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no liability for any such reliance upon this content. Where the post includes links to external websites, Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited accepts no responsibility for the content of such sites. Any link to a third-party website should not be construed as endorsement by Thornton Jones Solicitors Limited of any content, products or services which are outside our direct control.

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