We have had a number of enquiries about how family mediation can work in light of the Government’s social distancing policies.

Mediation is about communication and we know that 80% of communication is non-verbal so it makes sense that where possible mediation should take place where everyone is in the same room. However, this is not possible at the moment as we are in unprecedented times where all but essential face-to-face contact is not permitted.

We heard recently from the Government’s medical advisor that it may be another 6 months or more before we are back to “normal”  so it cannot be right for those separating or going through divorce proceedings that want to engage in mediation to try and amicably and cost effectively resolve the issues arising from the ending of their relationship, to be in limbo for the next 6 months or more. Understandably the courts are only dealing with the most urgent applications at the moment, or where possible conducting hearings remotely, via telephone or video calls. Many court hearings are being adjourned.

The good news is that we are able to offer family mediation through video conference calls. Arrangements can be made to ensure that mediation meetings can proceed without having face-to-face meetings using technology, where we are still able to see each other and share documents.

We can also offer Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings using video calling technology where we can discuss the options available to you.

Our experienced family mediator, Richard Buckley, says “It is important for separating families that they are able to sort out the arrangements for their children and finances quickly and mediation presents an often quick and cost effective way of making these arrangements. That is why it is so important that even in these difficult times we are able to continue offering a family mediation service to our clients”.

“The issues created by Coronavirus and the social distancing regulations may mean that existing arrangements for children, where their parents are in living in different households, need to be varied or re-considered in light of the current circumstances. Being able to discuss these issues and concerns with the help of a mediator could be invaluable”.

For further information about Family Mediation please contact Richard Buckley on 0114 228 3293 or Richard.buckley@luptonfawcett.law

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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