5 Ways Family Mediation Can Help With Divorce

Divorce is undeniably tough – it’s emotionally draining and full of challenges. But there’s a silver lining: family mediation. If you’re unfamiliar with mediation, it’s essentially a process where a neutral third party mediator helps divorcing couples reach agreements on important matters like arrangements for children, financial settlements, and property division. 

Instead of battling it out in court, mediation offers a more collaborative approach. In this article, we’ll delve into how family mediation can significantly ease the burden of divorce by providing a practical, cost-effective, and cooperative way to find solutions that work for both parties involved.

What is family mediation?

Family mediation is a process designed to help couples going through divorce or separation resolve conflicts and reach agreements in a cooperative manner. A trained mediator, who remains neutral and impartial throughout the process, facilitates discussions between the parties involved.

During mediation sessions, couples have the opportunity to openly discuss their concerns, priorities, and desired outcomes. The mediator guides these discussions, ensuring that both parties are heard, and helps them to explore potential solutions.

Family mediation covers a wide range of issues, including child custody arrangements, financial settlements, property division, and any other matters related to the separation. The goal is to reach agreements that are fair, practical, and tailored to the specific needs of the family.

Importantly, family mediation is a voluntary process, and the decisions made during mediation are reached by mutual consent. While the agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding, they can serve as the basis for legally enforceable agreements if both parties choose to formalise them through the appropriate legal channels.

Ways family mediation can help divorcing couples

1. Constructive communication

Cooperative in its nature, family mediation acts as a channel for constructive communication between divorcing couples. Unlike the adversarial nature of court battles, mediation encourages an environment where both parties can express their concerns and objectives openly. Through guided discussions facilitated by third party mediators, couples can work towards mutually acceptable solutions without escalating conflicts. 

With the mediator’s help, you and your ex partner can engage in constructive dialogue, exploring possible solutions that meet both of your needs. Slowly but surely, communication barriers can begin to crumble, paving the way for understanding and compromise.

For example, instead of arguing in court, couples can discuss child custody arrangements and financial matters in a safe and constructive space provided by mediation. Where children are involved, this cooperative approach can really help divorcing couples set a strong foundation for amicable co-parenting. 

2. Tailored solutions to unique circumstances

Family mediation offers divorcing couples a unique opportunity to take control of their divorce proceedings and explore solutions tailored to their specific circumstances. Unlike court rulings, which can be rigid and impersonal, mediation helps couples actively participate in shaping their future.

Instead of having decisions imposed upon them by a judge, couples engage in open discussions during mediation sessions. They have the freedom to explore a range of potential solutions that address their individual needs and priorities. 

Upon successful mediation, you’ll have agreed upon a mutually acceptable decision on important matters like property, finances and child arrangements. 

3. Cost-effective resolutions

For many people going through a divorce, the financial strain of solicitor, barrister, and court fees is often a major concern. Unlike often drawn-out and costly legal battles, family mediation offers a more cost-effective alternative. 

Mediation is much less expensive than going to court because the mediator’s fees are split between both parties. In total, sessions usually take one to three months, which is typically much shorter than court cases – which can last six to twelve months. 

Depending on the kind of case, hiring a solicitor to handle your court case can range from £3,000 to £30,000 or even more. For instance, sorting out child custody matters can cost between £3,000 and £8,000, while dealing with financial issues can set you back £10,000 to £30,000 or more.

On the other hand, mediation typically costs around £150 per person per hour in the UK. So, in many cases, mediation fees are much lower compared to solicitor charges.

What’s more, you can even get family mediation for free with legal aid (depending on your eligibility) or, when discussions are related to child arrangements, you may be entitled to a family mediation voucher which provides a contribution of £500. Whether you’re facing financial constraints or simply seeking a more cost-effective approach to divorce, mediation provides an affordable solution.

4. Ensuring both sides are heard

In family mediation, both parties have a voice. Mediators ensure that each person’s perspective is heard and considered, helping create a sense of fairness and understanding. It’s crucial for both participants to feel that they’ve been listened to, as this lays the foundation for reaching mutually agreeable solutions.

Unlike mediation, court cases have the potential to exacerbate conflicts rather than resolve them – the setup of the courtroom is adversarial by nature. Communication between solicitors can also be restrictive, hindering open dialogue between the parties involved. As a result, this can lead to prolonged and intensified disputes, draining valuable time and energy.

By minimising conflict, mediation allows couples to focus on constructive dialogue and cooperation. With mediation, you can redirect your efforts towards building a brighter future for yourself and your family.

5. Child-inclusive options

In the midst of divorce, children often feel overlooked, yet they’re profoundly impacted by the decisions made by their parents. That’s why family mediation offers a unique option: child-inclusive mediation.

These sessions provide a platform for children to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive setting. Trained mediators facilitate age-appropriate discussions, ensuring children’s voices are not only heard but also valued.

By including children in the conversation, parents gain valuable insights into their perspectives and needs. This not only strengthens family bonds but also helps develop a sense of unity during a challenging time. Opting for child-inclusive mediation isn’t just about resolving disputes; it’s about prioritising your children’s well-being and showing them that their voices matter.


In summary, family mediation offers divorcing couples a practical and efficient way to navigate their separation. Through open communication, tailored solutions, and inclusive options for children, mediation allows for a more amicable and cooperative approach to divorce. This not only reduces conflict and saves costs but also helps couples move forward with greater understanding and respect, laying the groundwork for a smoother transition into the next chapter of their lives.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.