Many couples who wish to resolve issues arising out of the breakdown of their relationship without going to court now choose mediation.

Those couples realise that it is often enormously difficult, and sometimes impossible, to have a good on-going parenting relationship when the parents have fought each other in Court and the Court has imposed a decision on them that perhaps one or sometimes both of them is entirely unhappy with.When a relationship breaks down it is so important to take decisions about the future which meet the needs of both of the parties but also the children.A Court contest does not always achieve this important goal because there is a perceived “winner” and a perceived “loser” and the needs of the children can sometimes be overlooked in the heat of a “contest”.


The process focuses on helping you both to reach practical decisions about practical issues such as finding the best pattern of care for your children and working out the best financial arrangements which are acceptable to all concerned.

During the Mediation process you will both sit in the same room with a very experienced Solicitor/Mediator. His role is to be a neutral facilitator of negotiations, to explain all the options available to you both, and to help you both achieve solutions which are acceptable to you both.

The process can be difficult if both parties are at vastly different places on the emotional road out of their relationship. However, even where the breakdown is still quite raw and emotional, Mediation can help couples focus positively on their futures. For couples who both acknowledge that their relationship has ended, Mediation usually works very well indeed.

Mediation is not suitable for people who may be in fear of their former partner.

Most people welcome being able to take control of the costs of the process and the decisions that are reached. They are very reluctant to hand over hugely important decisions affecting them, their children and their futures to lawyers and judges who may hardly know them at all.

Couples who use Mediation are also keen not to dissipate the assets of the family on the legal costs of a Court contest which in some cases can be considerable.


Mediation to work out arrangements for your children will usually involve discussing such issues as who the children live with, what access/visiting arrangements you would like, any issues about religion, schooling, the name by which your children are known or any other particular children issues you wish to raise. Some couples can resolve their children issues in one mediation session, for others it may take up to three mediation sessions.


Mediation to work out arrangements for property and financial matters in a case where there are no children issues to discuss, will usually involve working out arrangements for the division of any assets including pensions, responsibility for any liabilities, and any issues in relation to maintenance. Some couples can resolve their property and financial issues in two sessions for others it may take up to five sessions.


Mediation for couples who have issues to resolve relating to their children, but also in relation to the property and financial arrangements which affect them and their children. Some couples can resolve all these issues in three sessions for others it may take up to six sessions.

Richard Hirst is a very experienced Solicitor/Mediator. For very many years he has successfully helped many separating and divorcing couples to work out acceptable arrangements for their finances and for their children. He is a specialist practitioner member of the Law Society’s Accredited Family Mediation Panel and an approved Legal Services Commission Family Mediator. If you wish to arrange your mediation information and assessment meeting or a mediation appointment then please telephone (01524) 753040 or e-mail