Collaborative Practice & Mediation

When couples decide to separate, at WBW we appreciate that “one size does not fit all” and we will try to help you to find the best way of dealing with what are often difficult issues.

At WBW we will always explain to you the various options available to you, both those which might be regarded as traditional, making use of the Courts or negotiating with other lawyers, or your former partner and those which are perhaps regarded as new and innovative, such as mediation and collaborative law.

Mediation is a process whereby an independent third party, the mediator, will meet with you and your partner and help to identify those issues which need to be resolved and help you to try and find a solution to them. Mediators are neutral and do not take sides in the dispute. WBW can offer the assistance of trained mediators.

WBW are also able to offer collaborative law. This is a process in which each person appoints their own collaborative lawyer and there are discussions to identify the issues and seek ways of resolving them in meetings working together, face to face to find solutions for your future arrangements. Having a lawyer present means that you have the benefit of legal advice and the aim of this type of process is to resolve the disputes without involving the Courts, except to approve your final agreement.


What is the difference between mediation and collaboration?

During mediation an independent third party assists both you and your former partner to find a mutually acceptable solution to your dispute, whether the dispute is about arrangements for your children or about a financial settlement. You will see a mediator with your former partner and you can also seek legal advice from your solicitor throughout the mediation process. Your solicitor does not usually accompany you to mediation sessions. During the collaborative process, you and your former partner will resolve your dispute in a series of meetings. The meetings take place with both of your solicitors present, and both solicitors will assist and advise you to find a solution to your dispute.

What is a MIAM?

A MIAM is an introductory meeting that all parties must attend if they wish to issue Court proceedings for children or financial issues. The purpose of a MIAM meeting is for both parties separately meet with a mediator who gives them information about the options available to resolve their dispute, such as mediation or the collaborative process. If both parties are interested in trying either of those processes, the Court proceedings will be delayed until those processes have had a chance to work. It is simply an information giving meeting to enable you to decide which process would be the most suitable for you in your situation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process whereby both you and your former partner will meet with one mediator who will explore options and help you come to an agreement. The mediator is not there to give you legal advice but can provide information to help you negotiate a solution to your dispute. Mediation can be used for example where one party has started divorce proceedings, and there is a particular issue that both parties wish to reach an agreement upon, such as arrangements for the children. The mediation process can be going along at the same time as any other divorce proceedings, and as part of a traditional negotiation process.