Family Mediation during lockdown
By Susan Alexander, Consultant Solicitor, Family and Mediation
How Mediation helps couples to sort out their childcare and financial agreements on separation or divorce during lockdown.
Access to justice and the rule of law are two of the cornerstones of our British way of life. Due to corona virus lockdown, our normal lives have been
changed and things we took for granted, like access to the courts to assert our rights, have been curtailed. Although courts tried hard to remain open
(they were one of the last to close), they had to close and although some hearings have gone ahead on virtual platforms, many have been postponed.
Courts have suffered from staff shortages due to self-isolation, illness and family responsibilities. The upshot is that if you are unfortunate enough
to have a family dispute at the moment, it is going to be a slow process getting a hearing before a judge. Once lockdown is over, a backlog of cases
is expected so it will be some time before things are back to normal.
Courts are encouraging and welcoming people giving other forms of dispute resolution a go, like family mediation and collaborative law. These can be done
flexibly on video platforms like skype, teams and others.
Mediation is a voluntary process and the mediator is neutral. You will be provided with a safe space where you can explore the options and focus on the
interests of you and your children in coming up with a solution. Negotiations in mediation are without prejudice and not binding and are subject to
taking legal advice. The mediator is also specially trained to help you to avoid circular arguments and focus on finding the best way forward rather
than dwelling on the past. Many people have benefitted from family mediation and it relieves the stress and expense caused by uncertainty and delay.
If you decide that you need to make a court application, you will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting (MIAM). During lockdown
this can be done via a video platform.
I am an experienced family mediator, authorised by the Ministry of Justice to provide MIAMs and trained in child inclusive mediation.
If you would like any further information about Family Mediation or any of our Family Law services, please contact a member of the Family Law team on 01244 356 789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be assured we are open for business, our team are working remotely supporting, helping and advising our clients and we are happy to receive new
Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.