Family mediation is a confidential process whereby parties involved in family breakdown can meet in a safe environment to discuss and talk about the issues that arise on separation. These may concern children, finances, how to divide property or any other family issues. It is suitable to separating people whether they have been married or not.
The aim is to find a solution that is acceptable to both and meets the needs of both parties and most importantly any children involved. Solutions reached by discussion and agreement have been shown to not only be more successful and satisfactory than those imposed by courts, but also to have a notably beneficial effect to children involved. The presence of a trained family mediator to guide parties to a fair solution while providing general information and assistance, is vital to success.
Katharine Baker is fully trained as a mediator by the Family Mediator’s Association, as well as being an experienced family solicitor. She is a pragmatic and sensible mediator who will ensure both parties are on an equal footing and are heard. She is very experienced at finding workable fair solutions.
It is important to remember that as a mediator Katharine will be impartial, that is she will not side with either party. She will not therefore give either party legal advice though can give general legal information to both to help parties reach that fair solution and which a court might approve. A lot of people have a solicitor advising separately and may take advice from their solicitor in between sessions.
Mediation is voluntary. No-one can be made to attend. However, if any person intends to apply to court concerning finances on separation or children issues then they will have to first attend a meeting with a mediator who will provide information concerning mediation. This is called a MIAMs meeting.
Anyone interested in attending mediation will first come to see Katharine on their own and then provided she assesses it as suitable and both parties want to try mediation, then Katharine will arrange a first joint meeting. At these meetings Katharine will explore more the issues that the parties want to discuss. There may be some information that needs to be gathered such as financial information and then Katharine will help the parties explore options.
If mediation goes ahead it is best to expect between 3-4 joint sessions before a final solution is found. Katharine will then prepare a summary of the discussions and outcomes which parties may wish to share with their own solicitors.
At Newstead and Walker, Katharine offers fixed and transparent fees for mediation. Please do contact Katharine for any further information.