Family Mediation FAQs

December 1, 2022

1. What is family mediation?

Family mediation is a voluntary process whereby the mediator, an independent/impartial third party, facilitates negotiations and discussions between the couple. These discussions are confidential subject to some limited exceptions, for instance if there is a concern of risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.

The hope is that the mediator can facilitate an agreement between the couple regarding their dispute rather than having something imposed on them.

Family mediation can be used to resolve issues in respect of your divorce, separation, the family finances or arrangements relating to children.

2. What is the process?

Before the process starts, the mediator will speak with both parties separately to assess whether mediation is suitable. If mediation is suitable and both parties wish to go ahead, then consideration can be given to a joint session, and this can then be arranged.

At the end of the joint meetings, and if an agreement is reached, the mediator can draft a statement of outcome which is sent to the parties and/or their legal representatives for it to be made legally binding.

3. How long does family mediation take?

It can vary to case to case depending on the complexity and the issues involved. The likely number of sessions is something that we consider at the initial stages. Usually, the process will require at least 2-3 joint sessions.

4. Is mediation compulsory?

In most cases, couples will need to consider mediation by attending a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before an application to the Court can be made. However, there are some exemptions.

If after attending a MIAM, you decide that you do not wish to mediate, then you do not have to. The process is voluntary.

If you have been invited to attend a MIAM but decline or do not respond, then the Judge may want to know the reasons why. The Court actively encourage alternative dispute resolution (where it is appropriate) and so it is important that this is considered.

5. What are the benefits of family mediation?

There are many benefits to mediation (too many to list them all)! Here are the main ones:

  • It allows couples to retain control of the decisions. You make the decisions – they are not imposed upon you!
  • It is quicker. We cannot ignore the huge backlogs and delays in the Court system. Over half of lawyers say it takes an average of 1-2 years to resolve family disputes after making an initial Court application.
  • Mediation can be set up quickly and can mean a quicker resolution.
  • It is often cheaper. Court applications are expensive!
  • It can help couples to communicate and understand each other’s views.
  • It can provide a less stressful way of dealing with sensitive matters.

Why mediate with BBL Family Mediation?

At BBL Family Mediation we have five trained mediators. Our mediators are also family solicitors who also understand the law as well as being trained in mediation skills. We have a high success rate of helping couples to agree arrangements for their children, and financial and housing matters.

If you would like any further information about the services we offer at BBL Family Law or BBL Family Mediation please do get in touch by calling 01603 679050 or emailing

*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice