As you’re reading this article on my mediation website the chances are that you already want to resolve differences outside of court but you may nevertheless be interested to know that a professional working group agrees that this is the preferable way forwards for most separating families.
The case of Neil v Neil  EWHC 3330 reminded me of the importance for clients to understand what is and what isn’t confidential in mediation.
Many couples (including celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiger Woods, Tom Cruise to name drop just a few!) have all favoured using mediation when their relationship has broken down. One of the benefits of mediation is its confidential nature. But is everything in mediation confidential?
What is “hybrid” mediation?
Involving solicitors in family mediation is proving to be an attractive option for clients and lawyers alike. Often referred to as “hybrid” mediation, this model parallels civil mediation as it allows the mediator to keep certain confidences about the clients’ respective negotiating positions, helping them to find compromises along the way.
In June 2020 the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act was passed meaning that the law surrounding divorce will be reformed. Many think these changes are already long overdue and it will still take time for the changes to come into effect. It’s hoped they will be in place by autumn 2021.
Mediation is growing in popularity and my practice has never been busier. There is more information than ever about mediation in the public domain yet the same questions myths and misunderstandings exist. Below are some of the most common things I hear:
Feedback from children who have been through a divorce/separation whilst growing up shows there is strong opinion about the right to be heard and children’s desire to have a voice before decisions are made about their futures. After all these are decisions which will affect their daily lives and which could impact on their physical and emotional health. As a result of extensive research, radical recommendations around the participation of children in court proceedings have already been made and children could increasingly have their voices heard in the future.
Regulation of family mediation and what this means for Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) from 1st January 2016
With effect from 1st January 2016 only FMC accredited mediators can carry out a MIAM and if appropriate, sign the relevant court application form.
Throughout 2015 mediation has been going through changes in respect of organisation and regulation. A new standards framework has been introduced together with an independent standards and regulatory body.