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Family Mediation & Collaborative Law

Shepherd Harris & Co Mediation Service meets the growing demand of clients who wish to resolve any dispute in respect of their relationship breakdown in an amicable way.

To download our Mediation referral form please click here

Family Mediation is a process by which couples or any other family members agree to the appointment of a neutral third party (the Mediator) to assist them in reaching their own solutions which may relate to:

  • Separation

  • Divorce

  • Children’s issues

  • Property and Financial issues

  • Any other issues and arrangements that may need to be made following the breakdown of a relationship.

 

Mediation can take place at any time before or after separation and whether or not legal proceedings have commenced. Mediation is a voluntary process where the focus is to provide a safe and secure environment to help you reach informed decisions by negotiation. 

The Family Mediator’s role is to facilitate the negotiation process impartially. Each participant to Mediation may take their own independent legal advice at any time before, during or after the Mediation session(s).

The benefits of mediation are: -

  • It is usually less costly than other methods of resolving disputes such as negotiation through Solicitors or Court Proceedings.

  • It will enable you to explore options and to make informed decisions concerning your future and the future of your children as opposed to a decision being made for you by a Court that you may both be unhappy with.

  • It may improve relations and communication between you both and reduce tension and hostility.

  • If there are children involved, it will demonstrate to them that you, as their parents are working together to resolve matters in their best interests.

  • But, The discussions that take place between you during Mediation and any agreements reached are not legally binding. If either of you feel that it is important that the decisions you make and any agreement reached should be legally binding then the agreement can be formalised into such a document by your legal advisors.

 

If you are interested in Mediation, the first step will be for us to contact the person with whom you wish to mediate and to invite each of you separately to a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The purpose of this meeting is to: 

  • Explain how Mediation works

  • Assess whether Mediation is a suitable process for you and discuss other options which may be available to you so that you can make an informed decision about how you wish to proceed and whether Mediation is right for you.

  • Discuss those matters which you would like to address in Mediation.

  • Discuss the likely cost of Mediation.

 

Following the initial meetings and, assuming you are each willing to mediate and your case is considered to be suitable for Mediation, you will be invited to attend mediation sessions which may either be joint or shuttle (where you are placed in separate rooms)

Each Mediation session usually lasts for up to 1 ½ hours. Usually 3-4 sessions, are required to enable you to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

 

Once the Mediation process is completed, the outcome will be recorded by the Mediator in a document known as a “Memorandum of Understanding” and, where there are financial matters involved, an “Open Financial Statement.” is also provided.

 

If you choose to, you may then each take those documents to your lawyers for the legal formalities to be complied with.

We are also able to conduct child inclusive mediation where it is considered appropriate and where all adults with parental responsibility for the child consent to the child participating in the mediation process. Giving the child a voice can assist the adults in the decision making process.

Our Mediator, Tazeen Khaliq is an All Issues accredited mediator and is qualified to conduct child-inclusive mediation. She has been trained by Resolution, an organisation which is committed to resolving family disputes in a non confrontational and constructive manner. She has over 30 years experience in Family Law. She is a collaborative lawyer, an accredited specialist in Private Children Law, Domestic Abuse and Child Abduction. She is also a Member of Reunite and is on the specialist solicitors' panel of the International Child Abduction & Contact Unit (ICACU).

For a confidential and no-obligation chat about our Family Mediation Services please contact our Mediation Coordinator Hyacinth Thompson on 020 8363 8341 or contact Mediation@Shepherd-Harris.co.uk.

 

We can help you resolve your disputes in a dignified way.

COLLABORATIVE LAW

The ending of a marriage or relationship is usually fraught with difficulties, particularly at a time when emotions are running high. If you are seeking to divorce or separate without proceeding down the traditional route of going to court then our collaborative law solicitor may be able to help you.

Traditionally, when a relationship breaks down, each person will take independent advice from a specialist family lawyer and, through their lawyers, attempt to reach agreement on how best to settle their differences.  If they are unable to do so, it is left to the Family Courts to decide which can cause uncertainty and conflict.

Collaborative Law enables each person, with their lawyers present, to have face-to-face meetings in order to resolve the issues with a commitment to avoid litigation and in a non-confrontational and constructive manner.

The benefits of Collaborative Law are:

  • You each have your own independent legal advisor.

  • You are in control without the prospect of Court proceedings hanging over you.

  • You set the agenda and talk about the things that matter most to you and your family.

  • You set the pace and you are not governed by Court dates and appearances.

  • You maintain contact with your former partner which gives you the best chance of understanding each other and finding the right solutions.

  • If children are involved, you will both remain parents and it will help your children to cope better with the separation if they see that you are working things out together.

  • Most importantly, the key decisions you make about your future are yours.  They are not made in a courtroom.

 

Our collaborative law solicitor can use all of her experience in obtaining the best solution for you with cost effective and transparent fees for our services – allowing you to budget during this stressful time.

 

Our Resolution trained collaborative law specialist, Tazeen Khaliq, is on both the Resolution and Family Law Advanced Panels.  She will be pleased to assist you in choosing the right legal course of action for your circumstances.

If you require more details please contact Tazeen Khaliq or Call us on 020 8363 8341

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