Mediation is designed to be a collaborative and constructive approach to separation and divorce.

However, some clients initially believe that mediation is not the right process for them – particularly where they feel that they have been the victim of domestic abuse, there is a power or other imbalance, they feel that they cannot express themselves as well as their ex or they lack other expertise and confidence. In these circumstances ex partners may be fearful of sitting in the same room as their ex.

These are all justified concerns, and mediation is not always a safe and appropriate way to proceed. The mediation process starts with individual initial meetings, and one of the principal focuses of the meeting will be to discuss these issues, and assess whether, and if so how, mediation can be a safe and productive way forward.

If sitting in the same physical or virtual space is not appropriate then there are other options including:-

Shuttle mediation which allows the couple to sit in separate rooms. The mediator will shuttle between the rooms. This can take place virtually or in person. Where mediation is in person, arrangements can be made for different arrival and leaving times to ensure that the couple does not meet on the way to, or leaving, mediation.

Hybrid mediation is one of the mediation options that is particularly suited to high conflict or complex cases, as it facilitates the inclusion of lawyers or other suitable professionals directly into the process. In Hybrid Mediation couples generally sit in separate rooms supported by their lawyers to explore the options and prepare proposals for settlement. The benefits of hybrid mediation are that it is quicker and more cost effective than court proceedings while reducing conflict and supporting and empowering clients.

For more information about the benefits of mediation including shuttle and hybrid mediation please click here.

Please note: During #FamilyMediationWeek there will be a wide variety of free webinars for the public and other professionals working with families (teachers, health practitioners, social workers and more) as well as events for professionals working in Family Justice (lawyers, arbitrators, CAFCASS officers, judiciary and local family justice board members). Please find details here.














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