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Lawyers in Family Mediation

Lawyers in Family Mediation

Do you use lawyers in family mediation?



Full Transcript

I think another difference is that we use different models, I think, from civil, commercial. We don’t have lawyers present, or rarely, not generally.


We encourage people to take legal advice, so that they don’t reach decisions ignorant of their legal entitlements or their legal position, but we don’t have lawyers present. That would change it a great deal.


Almost always, as far as possible, once we have met with each separately, to make sure that they’re willing to take part and that it’s suitable for them to take part, I can come back to the subject of domestic violence, domestic abuse. But once we’ve established that they wish to take part, they wish to give mediation a try and they’re not in fear or at risk, then we would seek to meet with them both together.


The object is to encourage direct communication that they can manage in the longer-term, when mediation ends. Because in civil, commercial mediation, once they’ve reached a settlement, that’s that. They may go on working together but, in some cases, not.


Whereas, in family mediation, children go on growing. Parents need to go on talking to each other. They need to be able to change arrangements or adjust arrangements as children get older. So, it’s not just about talking in a mediation room. It’s being able to go outside and talk, go on talking.

About the mediator

Lisa Parkinson Profile Pic

Based in Bristol, Lisa is a senior family mediator and one of the founders of family mediation in the UK. Lisa’s qualifications in modern languages and experience as a social worker drew her to mediation in the 1970s as a much-needed way of helping couples resolve conflicts arising in separation and divorce, especially where children were concerned. She co-founded the 1st family mediation service in the UK and probably in Europe and went on ... View Mediator