What's the Difference between a lawyer and a mediator

What Does a Mediator Do? What Does a Lawyer Do? Lawyers and mediators are often called upon during the process of separation and divorce, we’ll explain the difference between the two roles and when you might use their services.

Lawyers and mediators are often called upon during the process of separation and divorce, or because of a family conflict. For this reason, their roles can sometimes become confused. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two roles and when you might use their services.

What Does a Mediator Do?

Once a couple has decided to separate or divorce, everyone, including children can benefit from the voluntary and confidential process of mediation.

Claire Colbert and Rachael Oakes, are experienced mediators from Oxford who will facilitate the resolution of any issue involving family breakdown, separation, divorce and its financial consequences, arrangements for children and any other kind of family dispute.

These expert mediators have worked as family lawyers for over 20 years and bring their skills and expertise to the mediation process. They will make sure that you have an understanding of the law and all the options that may work best for you in your particular circumstances.

A huge benefit of mediation is improved communication between separating couples, which reduces the risk of conflict and enables a solution to be found that works for everyone involved. Mediation aims to keep people out of court and their legal fees to a minimum, meaning there’s also less likelihood of expensive and stressful court litigation.

What Does a Lawyer Do?

It’s clear to make the distinction between family mediators like Claire and Rachel and  lawyers. 

So how exactly do the two roles differ? A lawyer can be described as a legal practitioner who offers legal advice about what is best for you during legal proceedings. 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 also represent you in court hearings 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.

It is not possible for your lawyer to be your mediator or vice versa as to remain neutral a mediator must not take a side or act for either person.

In summary, it’s worth considering the mediation route before you hire a lawyer. After all, it could save you a lot of time, energy, financial expense and avoid the stress of a court battle. So, now that’s established, what else do you need to know about family mediation?

How Does Family Mediation Work?

The experienced mediators that work at Family Mediation and Mentoring, an Oxford family mediation service will facilitate conversations and help you explore and decide which option works best for you.

At the initial individual meetings (called MIAMs) they will take some background information and review the appropriateness of mediation for you. After that, meetings mostly take place together with your former partner.

They can also offer child inclusive mediation if you both agree, and the children are old enough to participate and want to. This enables the mediator to bring the views of the children into the discussions and ensure their voice is heard as part of your decision-making process.

There are many ways a solution can be found and these highly skilled mediators will work with you to facilitate this and ensure that you are fully informed before reaching a resolution. They can support you through one of the most important transitions you will ever experience and help you all move forward.

Whilst Family Mediation and Mentoring is based in and around Oxford, anyone can access the Oxford family mediation service since most of their mediation meetings are conducted online via Zoom and Teams. 

Financial Dispute Mediation

Finances can be one of the most challenging topics when it comes to the breakdown of your relationship. The mediators at Family Mediation and Mentoring will help you discuss and resolve any financial issues that might arise. These might include:

·        Dealing with the divorce or separation process/paperwork,

·        Transfer, or sale of properties

·        Sharing investments

·        Dealing with a business, pensions, or trusts

·        Considering whether child or spousal maintenance may be payable and if so,    for how long.

When proposals for settlement have been reached, they 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. 

Who Pays for Family Mediation?

The costs of mediation are often shared between you, while 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.

How to Book Family Mediation

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

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