In these unprecedented times, families will no doubt be feeling the pressure in trying to find a balance between working from home and caring for and educating their children. This may be particularly difficult if parents have recently separated and are still in the process of trying to agree arrangements for their children and/or their finances, or if they have existing child arrangements in place and are struggling to agree how best to implement these in light of the guidance now published. You can find a summary of the update by my colleague Jemma Jones, here.
Family Mediation is an extremely supportive and effective process for separated parents to use. It involves the couple discussing the situation with an impartial mediator who will facilitate those discussions and provide helpful legal information to assist the couple in arriving at an agreement.
Whilst mediations normally take place face to face, it is possible to conduct both the initial individual Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) and the joint mediation sessions via video. At BPE, we are well set up to offer this to clients and it has proven to be very successful. By being able to mediate via video, there is no need to delay in having supported conversations with your former partner to arrive at arrangements which suit you and your family. It is also vital that parents keep communicating, particularly in such a time of uncertainty, and mediation provides a fantastic way to help parents with this.
The Courts are still in the process of trying to manage existing cases and arranging telephone hearings or adjourning hearings to a future date whilst they set up appropriate video conferencing facilities. Therefore, now, more than ever, alternative processes to discuss important matters arising from a separation offer a real life line to separating couples.
Please visit our mediation page on our website or contact our Family Team’s mediator, Helen Cankett, for more information on how we can help.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.