Parents who have decided to separate or divorce in 2023 were given guidance on how to avoid courtroom confrontation to settle money and parenting arrangements, during Family Mediation Week, which ran from 16 to 20 January.
January usually sees a dramatic rise in the number of parents deciding to live apart as the various pressures that go hand-in-hand with the Christmas period act as a final straw for relationships.
Grant Cameron, vice chair of Resolution, a national body of family law professionals committed to helping couples going through a relationship breakdown in a constructive and sensitive manner; and also a partner and mediator at Trethowans in Salisbury, explained that Family Mediation Week was designed to raise awareness of the benefits of the process that helps ex-partners agree what works for them, while avoiding the court process with all the stress, delay and cost it can bring.
Grant said: “Many parents emerge from the festive period feeling defeated by the pressures on relationships and finances that have been highlighted during the holiday period.
“I find that parents in this position simply don’t know which way to turn. Their life-changing decision to separate brings with it so many tough questions:
●Who lives where?
●Where will the children live, and how will we make sure we each spend time with them?
●How will we sort money?
●What about debts and pensions?
●And even the family dog?
“Family Mediation Week shined a helpful spotlight on these tricky issues, offering separating parents information about their options as they look to make arrangements for parenting, property and finance.
Trethowans employs mediators on the FMC Register, which means they meet agreed professional standards. The FMC Register can be searched online, enabling people to find mediators near them, who are working online, and – if relevant – who offer legal aid.
Grant added: “Family mediation is a process where an independent, professionally-trained mediator helps you work these things out, enabling you to avoid courtroom confrontation.
“Professional mediators help empower you to create long-term solutions for your particular circumstances, rather than leaving it to a court to make decisions for your family.”
Trethowans is also taking part in the Ministry of Justice’s Family Mediation Voucher Scheme, which meets up to £500 of mediation costs for families if they need to discuss arrangements for children.
Anyone who would like to know more about the benefits of family mediation can visit www.trethowans.com or call 0800 2800 421.
The FMC register search facility can be found here: