A constructive and amicable approach
Family Mediation can help you resolve the issues surrounding your separation or divorce in a constructive and amicable way, which usually helps you both to move on with your lives in a way that traditional ways of resolving disputes cannot.
It enables you and your former spouse or partner to discuss the issues face to face, with the help of an impartial mediator who will keep the discussions constructive and focused on reaching agreements that work for you and for your children, if you have any.
It’s helpful for couples who want to reach their own solutions to the difficulties they face, as the mediator can help facilitate your discussions to achieve an amicable resolution.
Fully qualified family mediators
Clare Thornton is an fully qualified mediator trained by Resolution and accredited by the Family Mediation Council. Clare is also a Professional Practise Consultant (PPC), accredited by the Family Mediation Council. She has many years’ legal experience, which means she can present realistic suggestions and potential solutions for the couples who mediate with her to consider.
Clare is also qualified to offer direct consultation with children, which gives children the opportunity to express their wishes and feelings in the mediation process. It is not about children making decisions, but it allows parents (subject to the agreement of the child) to have a clear and unbiased view of their children's perspective on the family situation. It also helps children to understand how the mediation process works, and it can be beneficial for them to see how their parents are trying to work together amicably.
Amanda Gait is also a fully qualified mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council. Amanda offers both legal aid and private mediations in our Wakefield office and also in Pontefract at offices on Ropergate. Please ask if you wish to see her in the Pontefract office rather than Wakefield.
Mediation is usually a cheaper and quicker process than going through the courts, but we recommend that you each retain separate solicitors to provide legal advice. This is particularly important if financial matters are involved in the mediation.
How does it work?
The process starts with a meeting with Clare, usually on your own. This gives you an opportunity to discuss the process, and for Clare to assess the suitability of your case for mediation.
If after that initial meeting you and your former spouse or partner want to proceed using mediation, arrangements will be made for further meetings, which you will both attend.
Your mediator will manage the discussions between you, making sure that all relevant issues and information are discussed, helping you reach agreements and drawing up proposals on which you both agree.
Is mediation legally binding?
A mediator does not give legal advice, but can guide you within the law and offer solutions that meet your family’s needs. They will encourage you to appoint a solicitor to work alongside you and write up the proposals you agree with your ex into a legal document.
Read our blog post that goes into detail about the mediation process.