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Family Mediation expands as Claire Knight receives accreditation

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The Family department are congratulating Associate Chartered Legal Executive, Claire Knight, after the successful completion of her Law Society Family Mediation Accreditation. 

Claire completed her Resolution training to become a Family Mediator in 2014 when the service was launched to meet growing demand from couples to attend Family Mediation, particularly once compulsory Mediation Information Assessment Meetings were introduced.  Since then, Claire has now built on her experience, working with clients on both financial and children arrangements in Family Mediation sessions, and has had her portfolio approved by the Law Society.  Achieving accreditation is only done by meeting the required standards of client care, compliance and regulatory checks, so this milestone is an important one for Claire and the Family department. 

What is Family Mediation?

Following a separation or divorce, there will be arrangements you need to make for your financial assets and children, for example:

  • Where your children will live
  • How the children will spend time with each of you
  • Where they will go to school
  • To agree child maintenance payments
  • Any medical arrangements for the children
  • The division of financial assets and property
  • The payment of debts
  • Pension arrangements

In some cases, these will be easy decisions to make; however, for some couples there can be animosity between them and so an agreement cannot be reached.

Family Mediation can offer couples in this situation a successful way to reach agreement without enduring the cost and time going to Court.  You and your former partner would come together in a neutral environment with an independent Mediator who can discuss your concerns, your ideal outcome and the reasons why an agreement cannot be reached, exploring alternatives or compromises that may be met. 

“The success of Family Mediation lies in the fact that it allows both parties to take a step back from their relationship and consider possibilities that may not have been apparent to them,” explains Claire.  “Understandably, your decisions will be clouded by the emotions and turmoil that you will have gone through over the breakdown of your relationship and we appreciate that for some it can be particularly hard to even want to compromise.  It may be that one party is not keeping your children’s best interests at heart, or you are disagreeing over pension arrangements.  During Mediation, we are able to consider the practicalities of the arrangements, the different options available to you and work towards a conclusion that is not only agreeable to you both, but one that can be turned into a legally binding document.”

What is a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting?

In order to determine whether Family Mediation could be appropriate, every couple who wishes to go to Court to settle these arrangements must first attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM).  During a MIAM, the Mediator will discuss your situation and analyse whether Mediation could reach a satisfactory outcome.  There are some scenarios where Mediation will not be appropriate, for example if there has been history of domestic violence, but for those cases where there is a possibility of success, you would then proceed to Mediation.  In the rare situations when it is not successful, the Court will always look more favourably on you if you have tried Mediation. 

Speaking of the accreditation, Claire commented, “I am delighted that I have achieved my accreditation and can now offer Family Mediation as a Law Society accredited and Resolution trained Mediator.  Mediation isn’t for everyone, but those who do attend will be in a difficult position in their lives and so they must be confident that the person they work alongside will be impartial, take everything into consideration but also reach a conclusion that they are comfortable with.  The training and accreditation provides us with the practical skills to be able to discuss these sensitive topics with compassion but also ensure that both people have their voices heard, that one person does not dominate the conversation and that both parties agree with the decisions that are reached.”

To discuss the option of Family Mediation with Claire or a member of the team, call 023 8071 7431 or email claireknight@warnergoodman.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can find out more about how Family Mediation could help you on the following links:

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.