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Using mediation as a path to amicable solutions when separating

Using mediation as a path to amicable solutions when separating

Family law disputes can be emotionally taxing, often involving sensitive issues that impact the entire family. Therefore it’s important to try and find amicable and constructive solutions. Mediation is one such route, offering a less adversarial and often more effective way to resolve disputes.

Mediation is a voluntary process where an impartial mediator helps disputing parties communicate and negotiate to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Unlike court proceedings, which can be confrontational and rigid, mediation provides a confidential and flexible environment for parties to discuss their issues openly. Louise Gillies, head of the family law team at Ness Gallagher, is an Accredited Mediator in Family Mediation and is also a member of CALM Scotland (Comprehensive Accredited Lawyer Mediators), and works with many families come to an agreement when separating.

Both parties meet with the mediator to discuss the process and establish ground rules, and through a series of joint sessions with the mediator facilitating discussions, helping parties to articulate their needs and interests, assisting in negotiating terms, workable solutions are found and an agreement is reached. This is then documented and can be made legally binding if necessary.

Why consider mediation?

1. Mediation is generally more cost-effective than going to court. It reduces legal fees and other associated costs, making it a financially sensible option for many families.

2. Court cases can drag on for months or even years. Mediation, on the other hand, can resolve disputes much faster, allowing families to move forward without prolonged stress and uncertainty.

3. In mediation, the parties have more control over the outcomes. They can tailor agreements to better suit their unique needs and circumstances, rather than having decisions imposed by a judge.

4. Mediation is particularly effective in family law as it fosters cooperation and communication. It can help preserve relationships, which is particularly beneficial when children are involved, ensuring that co-parenting can continue in a more positive and collaborative manner. It keeps the focus on the best interests of the children, promoting decisions that prioritise their well-being.

5. Mediation is a private process and is adaptable to the needs of the family, allowing for creative solutions that might not be possible in a court setting. Louise's approach to mediation emphasises understanding and collaboration. Her extensive training and experience help parties to reach agreements that work for everyone involved, and parties often feel more empowered and satisfied with the outcomes since they play a direct role in shaping the agreement.

If you're facing a family law dispute, mediation might be the right path for you. At Ness Gallagher Solicitors, we offer comprehensive mediation services designed to help you resolve your issues amicably and efficiently.