In our second blog focusing on family mediation we’re talking about the main benefits of using family mediation to resolve issues that crop up when a couple separate. Last week we explained more about what happens in family mediation.

Here are our 5 main benefits of using family mediation to resolve issues arising from your separation:

1. It gives you a place to have, and adds a structure to, difficult conversations that you have either been avoiding, or which have been ending in arguments. It can help you to identify patterns in your conflict so that you can be more aware of them. It can also give you tools to help make your conversations more constructive which you will reap the benefits of going forwards. Being able to have civil conversations is so important where children are involved. It is being caught up in conflict more than the separation itself that causes long term negative effects for children. We will be talking more about children in the family mediation process in next week’s blog.

2. In family mediation you talk to each other directly and this can dramatically speed things up on the more traditional model of letters passing between lawyers. Because it speeds things up it often makes it the most cost effective option. Plus there are less likely to be misunderstandings as written communications are always read in line with your view of the person sending them. Being able to see the person as they are speaking and note their tone and body language is a great asset in clear communication.

3. It is really flexible. You can tailor the process to what you need. So a couple that are able to talk to each other about issues may only need one or two joint sessions to point them in the right direction. A couple that are finding it hard to talk to each other may need more sessions broken down into manageable steps to help them move forward. Family mediation is not one size fits all.

4. Often when a couple separate there can be a temptation to see the issue as the other person which turns things into a battle. Sometimes legal advice can compound this by making you feel that there are two camps against each other. Family mediation helps you to look at the issues as something external to both of you and to look at what tools you need to resolve the issue or issues. You can also talk together about what is keeping you stuck and what other support you might need to help you find a resolution. This working together to solve problems sets you both up to tackle any other issues in a more constructive way.

5. Family mediation puts you both in control of what happens next for you. No one else is deciding what is the right way forward for both of you and for your children. You know yourselves best and it makes sense that you should decide what happens next. Family mediation gives you the tools to make the right decisions for you. Ultimately you are the people that will have to live with the outcome so it’s important you get the decisions right for you. Family mediation can provide support and structure for making decisions so that you feel confident in what you decide should happen next.

We hope that this helps to further explain why we’re so passionate about family mediation and what the benefits are for couples that use this process. Stay tuned to this series of blogs being published every Monday as we’ll be covering other aspects of family mediation in more depth including how children can be involved, and what to do if mediation doesn’t work. If you’d like to get our blogs and other supportive resources directly into your inbox you can sign up to our free mailing list. We also have a separate mailing list for professionals working with separating couples. This will include details of our forthcoming training workshops and networking events.

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