Today (Monday 17th January) marks the start of Family Mediation Week. This is an annual initiative when mediators come together to explain more about family mediation and how it can help couples who are separating, or who have separated. There is a different focus each day to look at mediation from different angles and there are many resources being shared along with a variety of events. You can view the full program of events to see what might be useful for you.

LKW Family Mediation will be supporting family mediation week and our Louisa Whitney is running an hour on Zoom on Wednesday 19th January from 11 to 12 where you can ask a mediator any question about family mediation. Perhaps you want to know if it might help you? Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a family mediator? Whatever your angle you can sign up and then drop by and ask your questions. You can sign up here and you will be sent the Zoom link beforehand.

Louisa Whitney is also running a workshop for lawyers about what happens in family mediation and how to best support the process on Tuesday 18th January from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. You can sign up here. Do have a look at the full program of events as there are many, many events happening throughout the week.

In case there are any cynics in the readership of this blog (surely not?) I thought it might be helpful to share some reasons why we are LKW Family Mediation think this is a brilliant initiative and are keen to support it:

Family Mediation week highlights the benefits of family mediation and the flexibility of the process. Have a look at the full program of events.

  1. More people know about family mediation than they did 10 years ago but it is still not so commonly known that everyone is aware of their options when they separate and the range of processes that exist, like mediation, to help you resolve all the issues that crop up. No one can make informed decisions unless they have all the information they need. Initiatives like this really help to educate people about all their options so they can make properly informed and considered decisions about the right way forward.
  2. There are many separating couples who feel they cannot afford to pay professional fees. They worry about how they might fund lawyers or mediators if they’re needed. They are already worried about how they will turn the one home they’ve had into two separate houses and any level of professional involvement feels completely unaffordable. Where they are both on the same page they may not need much assistance but if the pressures of their situation are affecting the relationship between them then they may feel trapped in an increasingly desperate situation. Initiatives like family mediation week where professionals share resources and information enable separating couples to understand their situation and what needs to be done without having to pay to access this information.
  3. These initiatives also give professionals and the general public the opportunity to think differently. We all have views, opinions and perceptions of things. It’s part of being human. Sometimes these are based on distorted, incorrect or out of date information so it’s a chance for all of us to learn and understand and see whether, perhaps, we are labouring under any misconceptions.
  4. Mediation is a hugely flexible process and we’re big believers, here, that it should be arranged in a way that works best for the people using it at any given time. Highlighting different ways in which mediation can operate helps people to understand that it can be tailored to help them. Separating couples come in all shapes and sizes and whilst some are OK sitting in the same room (be that online or in a physical room) others are not. Some people may easily come to mediation as the next natural step, others may need support before they are ready to start this process. Many people may attend mediation as just them and their ex-partner, other people may need more support in the room – such as having their lawyer present.
  5. With mediators joining together we are able to spread information much further than if it was simply one or two people sharing this message. It enables us to reach all parts of the country, different communities and a variety of audiences. The more people that understand family mediation the more people might be able to access this valuable process when they need it. It’s worth repeating that you can’t make informed choices without information!

This sounds great! How can I support family mediation week?

  1. Attend an event. Have a look at the program of events and then attend something to find out more.
  2. Share information about the week on your social media. Maybe your followers need to know about this?
  3. Tell people IN REAL LIFE. If you’re at work this week why not let your colleagues know in case any of them might benefit from knowing more about family mediation. Tell your friend when you meet for coffee. Whatever you’re doing socially this week pass the message on.