30th January 2024

Is Mediation the right approach for me?

Relationship breakdown can be very difficult for all parties concerned, not just the partners, but for children and wider family. These days people are looking to resolve things quickly with as little acrimony as possible in these difficult times, inexpensively. Couples hope to make things as easy as possible for themselves and their children, seeking a sensible alternative dispute resolution option. Most couples also wish to avoid Court proceedings, which can take months if not years to resolve and prove costly. Mediation can offer an answer.

When couples separate, they may have a host of things to sort out, including but not limited to:

  • What arrangements should be made for children?
  • When will the children be told about the separation?
  • Should there be a divorce if they are married, and when should this happen?
  • How will you divide the family finances?
  • If there is a property, what is to be done about this?
  • Who will live in the property and so forth?

It is daunting when a relationship breaks down and each party has to consider these things, there is uncertainty and worry about the future and it is difficult to know where to start.

Some couples find that Mediation is useful to sort out knotty issues when they remain in a relationship and to help them to resolve these in a healthy way. Mediation can also be helpful for extended family members to come terms with things, particularly grandparents.


Aforementioned, many couples hope to sort things out between themselves, but this can prove challenging on their own without professional assistance. Mediation can provide the answer, offering a safe environment where couples can meet to discuss matters in a confidential, neutral safe space. The mediator will facilitate the process, enabling couples to talk to one another and air their views in a balanced way, ensuring they are both heard. The mediator will always be neutral in approach and can offer options and information to assist the process if parties get stuck.

When looking at finances, each party will provide the other with a clear picture, meaning that informed decisions can be made. Couples will be making their own decisions so these can be tailored to their needs and wishes. As their financial arrangements are curated by the couple, it makes them more likely to be lasting. Where children are concerned, the process will hopefully mean any acrimony is dispersed and they are able to remain on good terms, which many couples aim for.


All meetings are confidential (other than when there are safeguarding exceptions), leading to parties being able to fully express themselves, whilst the mediator ensures the proceedings are balanced. Any financial disclosure will be open, so it can be passed onto individual solicitor’s should they seek legal advice alongside the Mediation process. If a financial arrangement is agreed, it will be without prejudice, so that legal advice can be taken by the parties. Other professionals such as financial advisors or pension experts can be involved, meaning all issues may be addressed. Parties can be signposted for support to divorce coaches counsellors offering a holistic approach. If arrangement for children are sorted, couples can enter into a Parenting Plan to record these, this helps to provide certainty for the future.


Matters are usually settled after 3 or 4 meetings. Meetings will be at your pace and can be either remote or face-to-face from our offices. Documents will be prepared to record arrangements, meaning you know exactly where you stand.


To answer the question of whether Mediation might work for you, if there are two willing participants who wish to resolve their problems for themselves then this could be the right forum for you. It will almost certainly be cheaper and importantly, quicker than the route of the Court. It will also hopefully provide the right solutions for both parties.


Margaret Sculpher is a Resolution trained Mediator and looks forward to your enquiry. Please contact her at msculpher@bussmurton.co.uk


Margaret Sculpher

Margaret Sculpher
Associate Solicitor & Mediator