Separation and divorce usually involve a major crisis for a family where emotions can run high, especially if there are children to consider.
However, with mediation it can be handled calmly, where both sides work together to find the best solution for them and their children.
Sheila Parkes, who heads Haymarket Family Mediation at Phillips Solicitors incorporating Brain Chase Coles, believes mediation is one of the most sensible and cost-effective ways of resolving family problems when a relationship has broken down as it provides clients with a safe environment for them to meet with a neutral experienced mediator who will assist them in finding a resolution that works for them both.
In fact, for the majority of people, mediation is a quicker and cheaper option for resolving family difficulties than going to court, where the outcome can never be accurately predicted. Sheila believes separating couples are the best people to make the decisions that will affect their future and that of their children rather than a judge imposing a decision.
Sheila says “In my experience mediation is an effective way of resolving issues in a dignified, respectful, constructive and co-operative manner. Mutually acceptable solutions can be found even in the most difficult cases, whether the disagreement is about child-care arrangements or how the family assets should be divided.”
Sheila and her team at Haymarket Family Mediation are based at Town Gate, 38 London Street, Basingstoke and can offer mediation with clients together, by shuttle (where each client is in a different room), or even by skype – whatever suits the clients more. Sheila is also qualified to see children as part of the mediation process in appropriate cases.
Haymarket Family Mediation is approved by the Legal Aid Agency to offer Legal Aid for those who qualify financially. This is a welcome benefit to clients who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn to for help. Mediation can also be used for cross generational issues such as grandparents.