Finding the right family mediator doesn’t have to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But there’s a lot to deal with when going through separation and divorce. Children need stability and reassurance, you may need to find somewhere to live, keep paying the bills, cope at work, not to mention come to terms with the ending of the relationship you thought was for life. To find a mediator in the midst of it all can seem daunting. Here are some things that can help you to find the right family mediator.
Where to look
The Family Mediation Council’s website is a good place to start. There’s a “Find your local mediator” search facility. You can specify your requirements. For example, do you need someone who can sign court applications if necessary? Do you need someone who can help you under the Legal Aid scheme? Do you want somebody who has been trained to speak to children within the mediation process?
Mediation is often an emotional experience and it’s important to find a mediator you feel comfortable with. The best way to find this out is to speak to them. Good mediators will be happy to spend some time with you on the phone to answer any questions you might have. This can help you decide if they will offer you what you need in a mediator. Somebody empathetic who can make you feel at ease and help you focus on the task at hand so that you are able to move forward.
It’s important to feel that you can trust in the mediator. Unlike lawyers who are partisan, mediators are not. We don’t have just one client. We have at least two. This idea can take some getting used to. We help mediation participants reach an outcome which is acceptable to each of them both now and in years to come.
If there’s a possibility that you may need to make a court application to deal with some or all of your problems, then it’s important to find an accredited mediator. Only they can sign the relevant court application form for you. If you’re unsure, simply ask them.
Contact us on 01473 487427.
Elisabet Anderson, FMC accredited family mediator