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Mediation week a key moment

15th January 2021

Mediation week a key moment

Claire Darley, a Partner in the Family Team at Higgs & Sons and an accredited mediator, looks ahead to Family Mediation Week.

Every January, this flagship week shines a welcome light on the benefits of using family mediation to resolve disputes, whether it be over financial matters or finalising arrangements for children.

Never has that message felt more important – and indeed poignant – than in the circumstances we are living through now.

While it will be a little longer before we see official statistics, the anecdotal evidence is that the fallout of the pandemic, and the strict lockdown periods we have lived through, has unfortunately led to a rise in family disputes and, ultimately, separations.

That’s why – more than ever – the Family team at Higgs & Sons will be extending its support to National Mediation Week.

Reducing conflict and improving communication for broken relationships and families is at the heart of mediation.

Having a calm, rational and neutral third party acting as a family mediator to oversee discussions can often be the difference between having an effective and binding post-separation agreement or a conflicting outcome which leaves long-lasting ill feeling.

Of course, achieving the former is all the more important when children are central to any dispute.

The benefits of mediation involving children reaching an amicable and less stressful solution can be enormous when contrasted with the other potential outcomes.

Indeed, I would often encourage children to be brought into discussions, particularly those who are over ten years’ old. Their voice should be heard and fed back into the mediation process.

Throughout these uncertain and unusual times, mediation – like many activities – is continuing virtually.

We are working hard to continue with mediation and other forms of dispute resolution to address challenges being faced by parents and separating couples.

Post Covid-19, our team is looking at more and more alternatives to court and mediation is certainly one way of enabling separating families to take the most pragmatic approach and achieve the best outcome for their family.

I’m proud to be an accredited mediator and readily engage with other solicitors, financial professionals, children’s experts and persons providing therapy throughout the process.

Throughout this week, I will be engaging with much of the activity scheduled for Family Mediation Week, arranged by the Family Mediation Council. Full details can be found here http://www.familymediationweek.org.uk/

Should you have any queries on mediation, please contact me on 01384 327217 or Claire.darley@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

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