Family Mediation Week 2024

Family Mediation Week is taking place between the 22nd and 26th January 2024.

What do we know about mediation?

  1. The strongest predictor of the divorcing couples using mediation was having used a lawyer: ‘28 per cent of those using a lawyer tried mediation, compared with just 11 per cent of those who had not.’ Fair Shares? Research
  2. The government continues to support mediation with its MOJ £500 voucher towards costs and its recent survey; the scheme has helped more than 19,000 couples in mediation.
  3. Part 3 of the Family Proceedings Rules – the court has wide powers to encourage non-court processes like mediation.
  4. The publication on 11 January 2022 of ‘The Primary Principles for the Financial Remedies Court’  gives yet more judicial encouragement at clauses 7 and 8 to assist parties in compromise by way of, for example, Mediation

So now is as good a time as any to get with the tide that’s turned towards non court processes.  There is a huge variety of free one-hour seminars throughout the week.

On the Tuesday, yours truly with Louisa Whitney, will tackle ‘Everything Lawyers Always Wanted to Know About Mediation* (* But Were Afraid To Ask) not quite in homage to Woody Allen’s film of a similar name.  If you aren’t sure what mediation is and how you can support it (and still make a living) then you’ll enjoy our seminar.

The variety of what’s on offer for lawyers is boggling. From Language in our letters, to self-care, to working with neutrals, how to use Arbitration with mediation, how to work with divorce coaches…the list goes on.

For mediators there’s a welcome focus on pensions (in light of the new PAG report that should be interesting).

Remarkably, the week has seminars to outreach to other professional disciplines. For HR managers, for Domestic abuse agencies, for healing practitioners and GPs, for voluntary organisations, for teachers, for the judiciary and also for social workers.  I am sure you will find something of interest here.

To add a bit of glamour, Joanna Gosling is talking about her change of career to becoming a mediator.  It’ll be interesting to hear what made her make the leap to our world.   If you are thinking of following Joanna then there’s a session on how to become a family mediator!

Sessions for the public – will be useful signposting for your clients and referrers.

Last but not least there are in person events across the country for you to network.

That’s an amazing 23 hours of free professional development; all available on the Family Mediation Council’s website after the event.  But I do hope to see some of you ‘live’.

Here is a link to all the events and the timetable:

Written by Jo O’Sullivan of O’Sullivan Family Law Ltd – An accredited mediator, author of (Almost) Anything But Family Court and member of the Family Mediation Week organising committee.

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