Family mediation – Marital and Civil Partnership breakdown and Family Disputes

There can be few experiences in life which are worse than living through the breakup of a marriage or civil partnership, and the pain of the breakdown itself is only compounded by long and very expensive legal battles. Family mediation is a method of addressing the problems and issues that inevitably arise during the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership, in a constructive and collaborative way, and arriving at fair and equitable solutions to what can at first seem to be intractable problems.

Hampshire Mediation can help the participants to explore options and weigh up issues, and to make difficult decisions and produce sensible proposals. All of this takes place during a series of confidential and voluntary meetings which are held on neutral ground in a safe and calm environment.  Addressing difficult questions in this way avoids hostility and promotes the chances of positive long term communication, something which is vital if the well-being and upbringing of children are involved.

tulipA huge amount of research into the effects of divorce and separation on children has been carried out, and the studies are unanimous in reporting that the  most traumatic element is not, as we might expect, the separation itself, but rather the hostility and conflict between the parents. Children are resilient, and can adapt surprising well and surprisingly quickly to changes, including to moving out of a house, or to suddenly having two homes where previously they had only one. The one thing that they cannot deal with is the conflict, particularly if that conflict is played out at home in front of them. The constant battle between the two people that they love most puts an enormous emotional burden on them, and may place them in the impossible position of having to take sides.

Family mediation during the breakdown of a marriage, the end of a long term relationship or the end of a civil partnership is a way of addressing difficult questions in an non-confrontational way and on neutral ground. It is about providing means of communication and a blueprint for the future, and for providing for the needs of the separating couple and of any children who might be caught up in the separation. It is also about laying the foundation for effective co-parenting, and doing so in a flexible and focused way which is sensitive to the needs of the participants, and the needs of the wider family. In certain circumstances, such as when the participants live very far apart, we can offer mediation by video link.

The issues addressed can be as wide ranging as is required, but typically may involve arrangements for children, property and finance. Generally the process starts with a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, or MIAM. Each participant attends separately, and the MIAMs the mediator will explain the process, gather some information, and assess the suitability of the dispute for mediation. Further joint mediation meetings then follow.

Click here to download a copy of our Family Mediation Referral Form.

Click here to download a copy of our Agreement to Mediate for Family Mediation.

Traditionally family mediation has been seen as an alternative for a divorcing or separating couple, but its usefulness is far wider. It extends not only to divorcing couples, but also to those involved in the end of a long term relationship or civil partnership, and also to others affected by the change, such as grandparents.

Family Disputes

Many families struggle with conflict and dealing with difficult issues. At Hampshire Mediation, we offer a way to sit down together and work through these issues, seeking fair and equitable solutions to what can sometimes seem insurmountable problems. We offer a model of working that combines the impartiality of mediation with the therapeutic benefits of talking therapy to provide a means to discuss, evaluate and reset a family dynamic and allow the family members to move ahead.

The model is similar to that of family mediation in that each of the participants sits down for an individual session with the mediator before moving forward together to hold group meetings.