Family mediation

Specialist Jointly Accredited Family Mediators/Lawyers

Here at Bonallack and Bishop in Salisbury, our family law and divorce team have seen that family mediation works really well for many people in resolving relationship breakdown, divorce or other family law problems.

Whether it is worrying about your finances or whether or not you will get custody of the kids, there is a lot of stress to take on during a short space of time. and we firmly believe that family mediation is going to play an increasingly important role in helping resolve the legal problems surrounding family breakdown and divorce.

What can family mediation do?

Relationship breakdown, separation and divorce are never pleasant experiences for those involved, in fact they can be an extremely depressing time to navigate through. But we believe that mediation can make a real difference – and here are the reasons why

• Family mediation can encourage fair and rational discussion at a time when you might not be feeling very fair minded or inclined to speak to their ex-partner.

• Mediation can help reduce the emotional trauma connected with relationship breakdown or divorce by helping you both away from a confrontational and winner takes all approach. Family mediators have received special training to make sure that all parties have the opportunity to get their points across and to ensure that the outcome of the process is an arrangement which everyone is satisfied with

• Family mediation can allow you both the time and opportunity you need to ensure that you both have all the input they require into the final memorandum of understanding. Time and input are often two things that divorcing couples in particular can feel they are being denied at court. Using a family mediator is also usually much faster and often cheaper way of reaching a settlement than going through the court.

• The mediation will be tailored exactly to the your joint requirements – and can cover all aspects of a divorce or be focused on a specific issue

• The roles of mediator and legal professional is, we believe best combined in a jointly qualified ‘lawyer mediator’. In particular, if as part of the mediation process you also each instruct a family lawyer of your own, a jointly qualified lawyer mediator can speed up the process considerably by avoid the need for frequent, time consuming and expensive advice from your own lawyer – although in the circumstances your mediator will only able to offer mutually informative, impartial advice on the law to you both as part of mediation.

• Family mediation can save the divorce or other relationship breakdown on taking too higher emotional toll on any children involved – as they will see their parents to operating and behaving reasonably towards each other.

• Mediation can help you to achieve a final settlement that is seen to be fair as it results from co-operation and shared goals rather than adversarial conflict.

How does all this help me?

• Mediation, when compared with court proceedings, really does find solutions to family problems more quickly and with less expense – and that’s according to the National Audit Office “Value for Money Report”

• Mediation can leave your post-divorce relationship with your ex-partner on a much more positive footing by allowing you to have avoided the rancour that can be the poisonous legacy of a bitterly fought contest in court.

•  It allows couples to enter an environment together where there is no pressure and can talk about their issues without the inevitable formality of lawyers.

• The outcome of the mediation will be fair and practical and will leave no ticking time bombs for the future.

Come on, there must be negatives?

• Most importantly, it doesn’t suit everyone – both if you must be willing to cooperate and focus on finding agreed solutions rather than scoring emotional points or fighting a battle you feel you must win

• The absence of each party’s legal advisor at the family mediation sessions can sometimes slow things down if one of you needs legal advice from your own family lawyer outside of the sessions.

• There is the risk that the less dominant party may feel uncomfortable in standing up for themselves in front of the ex-partner – and therefore feel they have not had their interests as fully considered as they would have with their own lawyer there to speak up for them – so, for example, it rarely works in families with a history of domestic violence

In what circumstances could family mediation work for me?

Family mediation could well be right for you if:

• Your relationship is breaking down and you are considering separating or divorcing

• You have post separation/divorce issues that need resolving

• You are considering or going through a civil partnership dissolution

• There are issues over contact or residence arrangement for children to be resolved

• You are a grandparent who wants contact with your grandchildren

• Mediation is required in your unmarried relationship

• Both you and your partner agree to try it.

Non-legally mediator or jointly qualified and accredited family lawyer/mediator?

There are two types of family mediator available, to you. One is solely a family law mediator with no training or experience of family law. The other a jointly qualified family lawyer and family mediator. Here at Bonallack and Bishop, we believe that it’s only a mediator who is also a qualified lawyer will really understand the legal applications of relationship breakdown and the practical issues involved in divorce.

What issues can be covered at mediation?

That’s really up to the pair of you. There are no expectations or limitations at mediation. You’re in control.

However if you’ve gone through relationship breakdown or are looking at divorce, points such as cars, cash, children, land and property will this all have to be addressed. And mediation, for many people, is the perfect place to do it

How long is the process likely to take?

Mediation meetings usually last for about an hour, and most couples manage to resolve their issues in less than four mediation sessions.

Is any agreement we reached mediation binding?

No – agreements made during mediation are not legally binding, but can be made so if the court approves a formal consent order setting out the terms agreed between the parties.

Looking for representation in divorce in Salisbury? Call us now

• Simply phone our family law team on SALISBURY (01722) 4223000 or

• e-mail them at

• or fill in the online enquiry form below