You may have thought that mediation was impossible during the current Covid-19 lockdown. But that is not the case.

The partners here at Alexiou Fisher Philipps have been mediating very successfully. We use online conferencing through Zoom and Google Meet, among others.  We ensure that all parties sign an agreement, within which they confirm that they will adhere to certain guidelines when videoconferencing. Parties agree not to record the meeting. We can set up a meeting quickly – faster than physical meetings.

We have been mediating about all issues, including finance and children. But I am especially busy helping to sort out children arrangements, both UK based and international ones.

The court guidance published has made it clear that the court expects parents to try to resolve issues between themselves for children arrangements during this lockdown period.  The court does not have the capacity to deal with a considerable volume of new applications. It is proving much quicker and cheaper to resolve matters in mediation.

Parents are working mainly from home (unless they are key workers). Children are now being educated at home.  The arrangements which parties mediate can be infinitely flexible and this can often suit everyone more than a court outcome.

I have sorted out two families’ arrangements in this last week alone and both reported that the mediation sessions have helped them to communicate better between themselves. They have resolved their issues speedily and with limited cost and stress, unlike the court process which would have entailed significant delay.

Remember to consider mediation before issuing an application with the court!

 

About the author: Emma Harte is a lawyer and mediator with more than 25 years’ experience of representing clients in complex and high value family law disputes. Other central London family lawyers often refer mediation cases to Emma in difficult children or financial cases. Emma can be contacted at or on 020 7409 1222