Family Mediation Council registered mediators are trained to the same high standards and follow the same Code of Practice, but come from a range of backgrounds and professions. As part of Family Mediation Week 2022 we are introducing you to a few mediators who describe how they came in to mediation and their experience of the role.
I am an accredited Family mediator working online and across London and the South East. I also work as a Professional Practice consultant, locum solicitor and parenting coordinator. I am trained as a child inclusive mediator and hybrid mediator.
Five years ago, I took a big step and left traditional legal practice to set up my own business. I had been mediating and working as a lawyer for around 20 years on complex financial separation cases, care proceedings and RSPCA prosecutions. I wanted to provide a platform to offer tailor made solutions to separating couples and focus on my mediation skills.
A significant difference between my legal work and my job as a mediator is the opportunity to meet both individuals involved in the dispute. It is transformative for both sides of a story to be listened to. So many of the misunderstandings and confusions which arise between people going through relationship difficulties lie at the core of the dispute. Working with everyone involved, sometimes including children, helps to achieve a holistic and tailor-made approach to problem solving and relationship difficulties.
Mediation involves information and coaching and helps demystify the legal process so clients can facilitate their own solutions. Family professionals need to integrate with each other to provide the collaborative real-life solutions which families are looking for today. Working as a hybrid mediator involves cooperative working with solicitors, financial neutrals, PODEs and others. A child mediation involves identifying the team around the client including friends and family and professionals such as therapists, coaches, advocates, family consultants etc. I like to work in a collaborative and cooperative way within the boundaries of a clear mediation framework.
Family mediation is now at the forefront of the family dispute solving process within families in England and Wales. The accessibility of online mediation and the recent FMC voucher scheme has increased uptake in my experience. My recent training as a parenting coordinator has enabled me to develop my mediation skills further, meet new people and educate parents in the effects of conflict on children. I’m glad I took the career steps I did and I’m grateful to all those who have mentored, advised and supported me along the way.