Fixed Fee Mediation Lawyers Glasgow & Edinburgh
Mediation is a process whereby two parties with opposing viewpoints discuss their situation and reach an agreement with the assistance of a third party- the mediator. Mediation is a way of resolving disputes which arise on separation. A family law mediator is there to steer the conversation, ensure it stays constructive and allow each party to have their say. Mediators are neutral – they cannot favour one party over another – and cannot offer legal advice during the process to either party. They can suggest ways of resolving the conflict, but you do not have to take their advice if you do not wish to.
You can watch our video explaining the ins and outs of mediation and resolving disputes in Scotland here as our Director, Billy Smith, sits down with Simon Horne, Service Director at Olive Mediation Group.
Fixed Fee Mediation Solicitors Glasgow, Shawlands, East Kilbride, Edinburgh and Lanarkshire
At Simplicity, our solicitors are trained mediators. We’ll make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities and are prepared for the process.
If, at any stage, you are not happy with how things are proceeding or can't reach an agreement you can leave and the process will end. At this stage, you will be able to enter a different Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process or you can choose to go to court. If you reach an agreement with your former spouse at mediation, you should ensure that a lawyer reads it to make sure your interests are protected.
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a means of resolving the issues that arise when a couple separates. The mediator is there to ensure that the discussion is constructive and that the discussion stays on track.
A mediator is an impartial guide for discussions. Mediators are neutral in the discussions – they don’t take sides nor do they give advice. They can, however, give you information about the law and your options. Mediators are trained to practice in this field and our skilled Simplicity mediators can help you identify and resolve issues before they arise.
Once an agreement has been reached, the mediator will draw up what is known as a ‘memorandum of understanding’. This sets out what has been agreed between the parties and forms the basis of the legal framework which will regulate your situation.
HOW DOES FAMILY MEDIATION WORK?
Mediation can take place over one session or several sessions. These can last anywhere from an hour to last several hours, depending on the complexity of your situation.
The mediator will guide and direct you through the process. This can involve an initial meeting to find out what the parties respective views are. Sometimes, particularly if tensions are high, parties can move to different rooms and the mediator will move between them. The mediator works with each party to find out what they might be prepared to agree to. If agreement is possible, the parties will be brought back together to go through what has been agreed. If matters are resolved at this stage it may be possible to draw up an agreement within a very short space of time.
SHOULD I USE A LAWYER FOR MEDIATION?
If the matters at stake are complex, then it is worthwhile instructing a solicitor who is also a trained mediator. The mediator is then in a position to give guidance on the legal issues and to assist in negotiating a settlement.
While many family law disputes end up in court, the Government are keen for families to try and resolve disputes in other ways – as are the courts. It has been said that there is no family dispute which can’t be settled by mediation. In many cases, mediation is used as a last resort before going to court, but it works much better as a first resort.
At the outset, the mediator will help you to formulate an agenda and decide what issues are to be addressed. The mediator will help you gather the relevant information and make sure the discussion centres on the issues identified.
How many sessions there are, and how long these last, will be informed by the number and complexity of the issues.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION?
The obvious benefits are the reduced cost, reduced stress and quicker resolution. The main benefit is that it allows you to tailor the solution to fit your situation. You will be able to consider your options and choose a solution that you know you will be able to live with and that works for you and your entire family.
With mediation, you are empowered. You are able to consider and discuss the options in a way that isn’t possible in a conventional court setting, and you make the decisions about what’s going to happen. In court, decisions can be made for you rather than by you – and you have to live with the consequences.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO MEDIATION?
More and more couples are going to mediation over family law disputes but that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for everyone. Mediation isn’t suitable for all couples as there is an element of trust and honesty involved, particularly where finances are concerned. Also, some compromise on both sides is usually needed to reach agreements that will work and last.
DO I NEED A SOLICITOR TO ENTER MEDIATION?
It’s not necessary, strictly speaking, but at Simplicity our trained mediators will:
- Advise you on what you need to think about when you go into mediation
- Advise you on whether the proposals will work in practice
- Advise you on what information you need to collect
- Ensure you have thought of all the necessary parts of your settlement
- Advise you of the decisions a court might make
- Give details of what the law says you are entitled to.
Contact our Fixed Fee Family Mediation Lawyers Glasgow, Shawlands, East Kilbride, Edinburgh and Lanarkshire
For a Free* consultation on your situation with our specialist family lawyers based in Glasgow & Edinburgh, Scotland, call us today on 0141 433 2626 or complete our online enquiry form and let us help you.
*Your first one-hour consultation with us is £50. Should you then instruct us to act for you in the matter within 90 days we will deduct £50 from your fees.