Co-mediation - working with a family consultant
For many years now family lawyers and mediators have encouraged their clients to obtain help from family consultants or therapists to support them through the difficult process of separation.
However, when a client has a lawyer to represent them in the negotiations they often do not need to meet with a former partner or communicate with them directly except over factual matters - generally relating to practical issues or any children arrangements.
However, in mediation sessions we expect people to assess and absorb information and suggest solutions and compromises with a person whom they might find it difficult to be in the same room as. It is difficult in the best of circumstances and many people find it extraordinarily hard. This is where working with a family consultant in the mediation sessions can be extremely beneficial to both parties. Work can be done beforehand as to how to handle any difficult situations so that the chances of an effective mediation are increased. However, during the mediation sessions the family consultant can intervene quickly at those difficult times to prevent them developing and the session breaking down and can give individual guidance to both parties on an ongoing basis during the sessions.
At a time when expenses are tight, the inclusion of a family consultant is an additional cost but if the prize is a successful mediation and avoiding court then surely it is one worth paying?