This week is Family Mediation Week – an initiative that aims to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively.
One Ilkley law firm is offering a free mediation session to anyone struggling with relationship issues.
Rachel Spencer Robb is a partner and head of LCF Law’s Family Law team. She has more than 20 years’ experience dealing exclusively with family law issues and is a qualified mediator, as well as an Accredited Specialist of Resolution.
She said: “A recent survey has revealed that children who witness their recently divorced parents arguing are more likely to suffer from mental health issues. With divorce rates in the UK on the rise, it’s essential parents consider counselling services mediation and get specialist legal advice on the practical and emotional consequences of divorcing from an early stage to protect all parties – especially the children.”
The aim of family mediation is to encourage separating couples to sit down together and work out solutions to the financial and family-based issues that can be part of separation or divorce. The goal is for both partners to come to an amicable agreement which suits everyone involved, avoiding the costs – literally and figuratively – of bitter battles in court.
Rachel added: “Mediation can help to secure a far better outcome for couples and children – it tends to be quicker, less costly and less combative than resolving issues through court or solicitors. Many couples going through a separation or divorce don’t know that family mediation is an option for them or are unaware of the advantages of mediation over its alternatives.
“The lockdowns are being blamed for the increase in divorce, but we have found that if relationships were in difficulty anyway, then the lockdowns have simply magnified the problems. The additional pressures of home-schooling children, financial worries and so on, have brought forward what in all likelihood would have occurred in any event. What’s important is that people are made award of the benefits of family mediation. We would encourage separating couples to consider family mediation as a way of helping them take control, make decisions together and build a more collaborative future for their family, which is why we are offering these free sessions.”