What is the difference between a lawyer and a mediator?

What is mediator and what does a mediator do? How is this different to a lawyer?

What is mediation and what does a mediator do?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process during which we will facilitate conversations and help you explore and decide which option works best for you. At the initial individual meetings (called MIAMs) we will take some background information and review the appropriateness of mediation for you. After that, meetings mostly take place together with your former partner. Most of the work done is by meetings (face to face or online).

The benefits of mediation include improving communication between separating couples, avoiding expensive and stressful court litigation and achieving solutions that work for you and your family.

Our mediators have worked as family lawyers for over 20 years and bring this expertise to the mediation process. We will make sure that you have an understanding of the law and all of the options that may work best for you in your particular circumstances. There are many ways a solution can be found and by working with us we will facilitate this so that you are fully informed before reaching a resolution.

We will help you discuss and resolve issues surrounding the financial issues arising out of the breakdown of your relationship. This can include dealing with the divorce or separation process/paperwork, transfer or sale of properties, sharing investments, dealing with a business, pensions, trusts and considering whether child or spousal maintenance may be payable and if so, for how long.

When proposals for settlement have been reached, we will prepare a without prejudice document called a “Memorandum of Understanding" which can, usually after everyone has received legal advice about its terms, be drafted into a court order to ensure that the agreement becomes legally binding.

Our mediators are qualified to meet with your children during the mediation process if you both agree and the children are old enough to participate and want to. This enables us to bring the views of the children into the discussions we have and ensure their voice is heard as part of your decision-making process.

What does a lawyer do?

A lawyer can give you legal advice about what is best for you. They can give you advice about the risk of litigation and best possible outcomes (and as importantly, worst possible outcomes) if you battle the issues through court.

Lawyers can represent you in court proceedings and negotiate through letters or in negotiation meetings on your behalf. They may instruct a barrister to do the advocacy at court hearings for you.

If an agreement is reached through mediation, negotiation or any other route, they can draft this into a court order for you and advise you on the terms of this document and its impact. A lawyer will often liaise with the court for you and your former partner/their legal representative.

Many mediators are or have been lawyers. It is not possible for your lawyer to be your mediator or visa versa as to remain neutral a mediator must not take a side or act for either person.

The costs of mediation are shared between you, whereas you each pay your own lawyers costs in most cases. Mediating a solution can be done quickly and save many thousands of pounds when compared to the cost and time that litigating the same issues through court can take.

If you would like to discuss whether mediation can help you why not book a free call using the online booking facility on our website www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk or send us an email at hello@familymandm.co.uk . You could also call us on 0800 206 2258.

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