National Family Dispute Resolution Week 2015

Resolution first for family law (an organisation of family lawyers committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way) is running a National awareness week for family dispute resolution between the 23rd and 27th November 2015.  Dispute resolution includes a number of settlement seeking processes as opposed to Court proceedings.  This year the focus is on helping separating and separated families to better support their children.

As a Family Lawyer and Resolution trained Mediator, I have long been an advocate of the benefits of Mediation, particularly where the issues concern children.

Mediation helps couples to move forward and resolve issues arising from relationship breakdown.  That is not to say Mediation is by any means the ‘soft’ option.  When a divorce or separation occurs it is normal to experience a range of emotions and sometimes the prospect of sitting in the same room, let alone talking to the other party can be extremely daunting.  However, if this hurdle can be overcome, and there is a commitment by both parties to the process, the benefits can be immeasurable.

The Mediator is impartial and will arrange to talk to each party independently in separate meetings in the first instance.  The couple will then meet with the Mediator in a series of appointments to find short or long terms solutions.  The  process is to help  people who have decided to separate or divorce, to come to mutually acceptable and fair arrangements without the emotional stress and financial expense of Court Proceedings. The Mediator will provide information to help the couple make choices and will facilitate discussions. Where the issues concern children, the children’s welfare will be kept to the forefront of discussions.

Life changes for the whole family upon a separation or divorce.  Children will experience a wide range of emotions too and it is important that parents are equipped to address their needs, anxieties or concerns.  Resolution have produced an insightful guide ‘Helping Parents to Help Children’ covering a wide range of information, tips and suggestions for helping children through the breakdown of their parents relationship.  Good communication between the parties is a key factor and this is where Mediation can help. 

For more information about Mediation or other dispute resolution, please contact Jackie Gifford on 01903 229903 or email

Jackie Gifford

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.