Conversations worth having
The Family Mediation Council has published the results of its 2019 Family Mediation Survey to coincide with Family Mediation Week, taking place from 20th-24th January 2020.
Professional family mediators act as neutral third parties to help ex-partners have conversations about issues such as what arrangements will be best for any children, and what will happen with finances?
The Family Mediation Council Survey of family mediators, conducted in Autumn 2019, shows that family mediation is a highly successful way of helping separating couples resolve disputes, with mediation successful in over 70% of cases. These success rates are consistent with figures from previous studies, including government studies.
The survey also shows that where both of the people separating go and see a family mediator for an initial individual assessment meeting, three quarters choose to go on to mediate.
John Taylor, chair of the Family Mediation Council said ‘it is not surprising that so many people who attend a first meeting with a mediator chose to go on to mediate. The meeting (sometimes called a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting, or MIAM) provides people with an opportunity to find out what family mediation is, how it might work for them and the practicalities and costs involved, as well as the alternatives if they choose not to mediate. Once people realize that family mediation is less expensive than being represented in court proceedings, as well as being less stressful and quicker than the court process, most realize it is a conversation worth having.’
Local family mediator Aideen Mattimore from Berkshire Family Mediation agrees, saying ’Many clients have told us it really helped in reaching agreements on the big decisions making sure the needs of the children were taken into account”
Whilst family mediation clearly works, there are still low levels of awareness meaning families are still missing out. This is a particular concern where families are eligible for free mediation, via the legal aid scheme. Taking place from 20th-24th January 2020, Family Mediation Week aims to raise awareness of family mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively. You can find out more about the campaign by visiting www.familymediationweek.org.uk.
To contact Berkshire Family Mediation to find out more about how family mediation can help you and your family see our website https://www.berkshirefamilymediation.org.uk/contact-us
1. The Family Mediation Council (FMC) is a not for profit organisation. Its aim is to promote the use of family mediation for the benefit of the public. It does not offer mediation itself.
2. The Family Mediation Standards Board maintains a professional register of family mediators on behalf of the FMC, which lists mediators who meet the FMC’s professional standards. Registered mediators have all been trained in family mediation, adhere to the FMC’s Code of Practice, are insured, are supported by a Professional Practice Consultant, carry out continuing professional development and have complaints procedures in place. Members of the public can search for an FMC Registered Mediator here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/
3. The Family Mediation Council surveyed 122 FMC registered family mediators in Autumn 2019, who had carried out mediation in 2161 cases over a six-month period. It found that for those who participated in mediation whole or partial agreement was reached in over 70% of cases, with 50% of people reaching complete agreement resulting in a written agreement, and the remaining 20% reaching an agreement on some or all issues but choosing not to have this written down formally.
4. Full survey results are available on request from the FMC, please contact Helen Anthony via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Unless exempt, people considering making applications to the court for family proceedings are obliged to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, to learn about the mediation process and other ways of settling a dispute outside of court proceedings.
6. Legal aid is available for family mediation for people who are financially eligible and if someone’s ex-partner is eligible for legal aid, they will benefit from a free MIAM and free first mediation session too.