Is Family Mediation worth it?

Is family Mediation worth it? Hmmm. A great question, and, the answer really depends on your point of view.

Family Mediation isn’t worth if you want to:

  • Score points over your ex-partner.
  • You want to drag out the proceedings as long as you can.
  • You want to spend a fortune on legal fees.
  • You have no interest in a co-parenting relationship
  • You want to focus on your own needs and not those of your family
  • You want your separation and divorce to go on forever.

Here’s the thing. We all have a point of view. Your point of view is never right or wrong, it’s just your point of view. It follows that your partner is entitled to their point of view too! The question to ask yourself is this:

  • Is your point of view useful?
  • Is it serving you and your family?

 Perhaps a more useful question to ask other than ‘is mediation worth it?’ is ‘what can I achieve through mediation?

 Asking this question brings up greater scope for thought.

 Is mediation worth it is a closed question. It lends itself to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. ‘what can I achieve through mediation’ is an ‘open’ question. It invites you to consider in a positive way what mediation can do for you.

Here’s how Family Mediation can help:

  • Mediation can help you communicate your thoughts and desires.
  • Mediation can help you explore options.
  • Mediation can save you time and money.
  • Mediation can support you to look at the future both financially and emotionally.

 

Since The children and Families Act 2014, there has been an encouragement that couples use mediation to resolve their difficulties. Currently, our society is very forced on court action. I believe that this stems from our belief that we are ‘right’ and that we can have this validated when the judge agrees with us. That makes us extra ‘right’. Right? Well not necessarily.

Family life is not science. It isn’t mathematics or quantum physics. Your judge isn’t Steven Hawking.

Will your judge be guided by principles? Yes. The ‘formula’ if you like is 25 MCA 1973. But your judge isn’t the only person who can and will use this formula. Your solicitor will use it to advise you. Your mediator will tell you (give you information but not advise you) about it. The thing is, in quantum physics, there are universal truths. Things just are. Families don’t work this way. They are all different and as such, every decision a judge makes will be different. Do you want to risk that?

 

In mediation, you get to stay in control of the decisions. What a judge may think is best for your family may not be what you and your ex-partner think. If you let a judge make a decision you’re stuck with it!

 

Why would you do that if you don’t have to?

 In mediation, you don’t have to.

Going to court costs you money. A lot of money. You may be tempted thinking that you can get a quickie divorce for less than £40 so why would you go to mediation.

 But wait.

 Do you really think you can get divorced for £40?

Really?

Well, lets talk turkey shall we?

Currently in the UK, it cost £410 to apply for divorce. That’s the court paper work.

 Many firms such as Crombie Wilkinson here in York offer Fixed Fee divorce. The Fixed Fee includes the court application and this will be completed for you so you know it’s correct. A weight of your mind. This will cost you in the region of £600-£700.

f you and your partner haven’t been married very long, you don’t have children and very few assets, this option is great for you and one well worth considering.

However, the fixed fee doesn’t include legal advice around your children or your financial settlement or negotiating in relation to these issues. That’s extra. So, you’ll see why it’s easy, if your separation or divorce isn’t straight forward, that costs mount quickly. Your lawyer will be open and honest with you about cost estimates, will keep you informed and not act without your instruction agreeing to the costs.

With the average contested divorce costing £8-10k in costs and that’s each, if you must ask is mediation worth it? Then perhaps that answer is yes!

You might even get your mediation for free! Here at Your Family First, we are able to offer public funding for those who are eligible. If you aren’t eligible yourself, but your ex-partner is, you will get your MIAM and first mediation session free.

Mediation happens faster than the court process and you get to speak about how you feel and what you want. Many people think that the English Divorce Courts are like LA Law or Judge Judy. You’ll be able to tell the judge yourself what’s happened, what a pig your ex is, how unreasonable they are, the list could go on. In reality, this doesn’t happen. So, if speaking your mind is what you’d like to do, consider mediation. Your mediator will help you do this in an appropriate way. They will also support your partner to listen. It can really help you move forward. Remember, if you have children, your relationship will continue. I’m talking about your relationship as co-parents not as partners. Co-parenting doesn’t come easy to some. It takes practice and having the support of a mediator to help you discuss that challenges can prevent problems from escalating.

So, you’re probably wondering how much mediation costs if you have to pay for it. The cost of mediation varies around the country and from provider to provider. The average cost per person hour is £100. This could be more than half the hourly rate of your family lawyer alone. 4-5 2 hour sessions are usually enough to help you reached agreement if you are going to. There may well be additional fees for the preparation of documents but you’ll agree spending £1000 to £1500 on mediation is going to be far cheaper than insisting you see your partner in Court!

Mediation is it worth it?

You decide.