What is Mediation?


When couples separate or divorce, family life can radically change or even breakdown.  It can often make couples and their families feel that they are losing control over their lives.  It is an extremely challenging time, made more complex when children are involved.

Many clients want to minimise any stress caused to themselves and their families as new living arrangements are discussed. As parents for example, you may have to decide where your children are going to live and whether to sell the family home.  If one parent has moved out of the family home, they can feel excluded and fear that their relationship with their children has been permanently damaged. It may seem that their only option is to seek a child arrangements order (contact and/or residence order) in court.

Research shows that children are most affected by separation and divorce when they experience conflict around them and become aware that their parents are unable to agree about what is going to happen to them. Court battles are very costly and may increase the bad feeling between parents.

Mediation however, offers a private place for parents to talk through the arrangements for their children, with the support of a mediator. Mediators do not tell you what to do, but help you make decisions for your family, with your children’s best interests being paramount.

The National Audit Office reported that family disputes resolved through mediation are cheaper, quicker and according to academic research, less acrimonious than those settled through the courts.



When couples separate or divorce, family life can radically change or even breakdown. There can be many practical and emotional issues to resolve and re-configure.

Family mediation:

Is a voluntary process which gives all parties involved a chance to explain their issues, hopes, concerns and needs in the presence of an experienced, qualified, impartial family mediator.

Can help because it gives a confidential, balanced and supportive setting to talk through, consider all possible options for the future and sort out all the issues surrounding a divorce, separation or any other family dispute.

Uses professionally trained mediators provide the tools that are required to untangle all the strands around the family breakdown, whether it is before, during or after the event.

Is a proven way of helping parties move on.

Allows you stay in control of all the decisions that affect your family, which the mediator records in a written agreement for you that can be converted into a legally binding document.

Can help you find new more positive ways of communicating with each other and build a sustainable future in your new circumstances.

Is a cost-effective alternative to court or legal proceedings. Mediation is on average, a quarter of the cost and four times quicker than taking the court route.

Mediation helps you to resolve conflict and reach agreement on all issues surrounding separation or divorce in a way that is more efficient and less stressful than going to court.

Who Can Benefit From Mediation?

Separating or Divorcing Couples

Same-Sex Couples

Children of Separating or Divorcing Couples

Families and Grandparents

Civil Partnerships

Elders and Siblings Regarding Care / Life Plan Responsibilities / Inheritances and so on

In summary, Clarity Works Mediation Service provides you with:

A safe environment, helping to reduce hostility, foster reasonableness and improve the chances of long-term positive communication.

The tools to help you make arrangements for your children, property issues, financial matters, and help you to improve communications within your family.

An impartial, supportive and confidential environment for your family to make decisions.

A service that does not judge, dictate or tell you what you should do. Instead we help you achieve resolution in a constructive and future-focussed manner to benefit you and your family.

Is a child-focussed approach, in cases where children are involved, as their needs are viewed as paramount.

Dedicated, experienced, trained, impartial mediators to help find solutions for families.

Sophie, Weybridge

“Thank you so much. Prior to mediation, me and my ex could barely look at each other and would always find ways of blaming each other. We just could not agree on hardly anything to do with our boys. We were stuck in the past and how we had hurt each other in our marriage. Our mediator at Clarity Works had a way of talking to us and asking questions that would help us to discuss the issues that really mattered to both of us regarding our children. We were able to agree on arrangements for our 2 boys that have worked out best for us as parents and most of all for our boys. We are now civil to one another and realise that it is essential for the well-being for our family.”

Kunle, Woking

“I had no idea about the power of mediation and the difference it would make to me and my children’s lives both now and in the future. We are so relieved that we avoided the courts and were able to resolve our issues in a more amicable and effective way. Thank you.”

Joseph, Farnborough

“I really did not know what to expect with mediation and felt terror just thinking that I would lose out so much - my children, the family property and my financial situation. I was wrong. Mediation helped us both to understand what was possible by looking at all sorts of options to make the most of what we had to offer as parents. Don’t get me wrong, it was tough, but we worked it out together with the assistance of our mediator. I now feel relieved and know that we have made good decisions together for our family’s future.”

Valencia, Chertsey

“One of our daughters has special needs. We were able to discuss and agree in mediation how we will tackle the challenges she faces. Our mediator created an atmosphere that made me feel secure. I felt that she was sensitive to our vulnerabilities. She knew when to be tough with us, when to empathise which helped us to appreciate what challenges we were facing as individuals and as a family. She did not judge us but helped focus our minds on our children and how our separation had impacted on them. We were able to work out what we hoped for and what our concerns were as a family. We have put in place arrangements to restore our family as separated parents.”

What Mediation Is Not


The family mediation process is designed to help improve communication between people who have decided to separate, or who have already separated It is not designed to help couples who are hoping to mend their relationship. In some situations, the mediator may suggest relationship counselling or other forms of help and support, for example if a couple want to improve their relationship after separation or if they are now reconsidering the decision to separate.

Counselling or Therapy

Family mediation can be emotional and family mediators will encourage clients to talk honestly about their feelings, but the main focus of mediation sessions is on practical arrangements rather than emotions. If the mediator believes that counselling could help someone in the family, the mediator will provide information about how to contact a counsellor.

A Substitute For Legal Advice

Mediators can provide clients with legal information but they cannot advise about legal situations. Your mediator will suggest that you take independent legal advice before you make a final decision because it is important that you understand all the options open to you before choosing one.

An Opportunity to Impose Views Upon the Other Party to the Mediation

The mediator will make sure that each client has an opportunity to explain what they think and feel and that each considers the other. The mediator will help each party to consider what is in the best interest of all parties concerned, after considering all options.

An Opportunity to Abuse or Bully Participants to the Mediation Process

Various safeguards and checks are in place and these ensure that mediation sessions are carried out in the safest situation possible. A mediator may stop the mediation if there is abuse or bullying and will do so if one person persistently behaves in a way that is intimidating or distressing. Abuse or bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Legally Binding

Nothing agreed in mediation is legally binding. However, you can both, after taking advice, enter into a legally binding agreement based upon the proposals arrived at within the mediation process. Usually, the outcome of mediation is put into a legally binding format through solicitors.


Unlike the court process, where the judge makes the decisions for the family, in mediation you are completely involved in and responsible for the decision making process. If you choose mediation rather than litigation, you are in charge of the details of the proposal, indeed there will only be a proposal if both of you agree that there should be.