How to start family mediation?
Family Mediation is a service that helps parents and other family members to resolve differences and reach agreement after separation. You can arrange an intake interview with your local family mediation service by contacting them – use this link to find your local service. Following your intake interview the service can invite your ex-partner to attend an intake meeting but cannot insist on attendance. After intake interviews have been completed the mediation can take place if both parents agree. When you contact the service in your area you will be advised whether they ask for a suggested donation or if they have a set charge. See this note about choosing a mediator. Lawyer mediation is also available, ask your lawyer or see the CALM Scotland site.
Does a divorce have to include consideration of contact arrangements?
Married parents with children under 16 have to include consideration of arrangements for their children if they are divorcing or dissolving a civil partnership. Try to reach agreement about these arrangements, using the parenting agreement guidelines. Family mediation will help you reach this agreement, but if you still can’t agree it may be necessary to go to court.
What happens if we go to family mediation?
Before the mediation starts, each parent has their own intake interview with the mediation service to discuss what needs to be discussed and to explain how mediation works. After this mediation can start to involve both of you. Normally you then meet together with the mediator, although sometimes the parents sit in different rooms and the mediator goes between them (shuttle mediation). Either parent can refuse to take part in mediation, which may mean that you have to raise a court action to resolve the dispute.