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It is absurd how part of mediating what is best for the children and what to do about splitting the money between them, also includes deciding which of them is going to make up the allegations against the other and which of them will therefore be the party not contesting it, in order that they can get divorced.  It makes a mockery of the legal system that couples that wish to divorce have to claim adultery or unreasonable behaviour when often in mediation they both take responsibility for the marriage or civil partnership not working.  See what the guardian says:


The Four Tensions in Mediation

Mediation is the facilitation of negotiation and in order to do it well you need a conceptual understanding of negotiation and the four tensions that need managing:

  1. Its only about the Money and Alternative Solution Creation.

Creating value by expanding the pie, broadening horizons and looking at different ways to distribute the pie by focusing on interests and needs.  What extras do they have to give or ask for?

  1. Empathy and Assertiveness

Help each party to have the capacity to understand the world through the mind of the other party as well as have the capacity to assert what their interests and needs are to help the other side to have the capacity to understand them.  It’s a mix of empathy and assertiveness and beware how competitive people are in being good at asserting and lousy listeners. Keep reminding that the other side’s perspectives have to be taken into account.

  1. The third tension is that of Principals and Agents

Someone who acts on behalf of a party as a negotiator may be difficult to align with their client because they have their own interests and needs, for example Lawyer and Client.  The mediator has to actively manage and ensure they understand each other.

  1. Demands and Requests

The constant flow of people in dispute is the demand that the other side has got to know this or do that or must, have to, ought etc.  Constant reminders that proposals are always requests to which a no can be the answer and that a request will draw them nearer to their goals than any demand.

Dispute resolutions skills are far more important than having the knowledge to judge the matter

There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about the importance of a mediator in not judging the matter and instead relying on what the parties and their lawyers bring to mediation.  The lawyers who come with the parties often have a wealth of knowledge which is invaluable to keep advising their clients and advising the mediator with regard to risks, possibilities, likelihoods and the choices their party (and the other party) have in taking the steps that lead to settlement. What matters is allowing the best solution to arise in the process of mediation, not having a mediator who pushes and pulls it to where the mediator thinks it should go.

Hats off to Cressida Dick for speaking out on the benefits of mediation for gangs

If only we could bring the gangs together and get them into dialogue, as we would expect some amazing ideas to popcorn out of the gang members for how to make life better.

Instead of resentment, anger, worry, sleepless nights, annoyance and unresolved thought patterns…

Mediate it which means that you clarify the issues, expand, explore and discover what they mean really to you and to the other side and from those discoveries, find out how to get an end to all those problems the dispute or lack of communication is causing.  If parties have intention to seek settlement and full authority to make their own decisions, it always works.

Todays’ feedback

Thank you so much for so much sticking with our mediation and for your professionalism and dedication in bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. You’ve relieved a huge amount of stress on my part and I can now focus my energies elsewhere.


In the thesaurus: kinship, acceptance, affinity, association, attachment, compatibility, fellow-feeling, rapport, fellowship, links, loyalty and relationship.  Here’s what Brene Brown says about it:  “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to.”

Divorce law must change as a result of the Owen and Owen case

When the lower court refuse to allow her to divorce her husband, Mrs Owen appealed but the Court of Appeal upheld the refusal to allow her divorce even though it accepted the marriage had broken down.  This was because a detailed list of unreasonable behaviour was contested.

Lady Hale, Supreme Court president and Lord Mance gave concurring judgments. Hale said she found the case ‘very troubling’ but said ‘it is not for us to change the law laid down by parliament – our role is only to interpret and apply the law that parliament has given us’.

Parliament must surely change the law to allow people to divorce a partner with whom the marriage has broken down even if that partner does not wish it.  Would the appeal have been any different if it had been the man asking for the divorce?

Diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

We congratulate city giant Hogan Lovells on creating a post to ensure their business runs with a diverse range of staff, inclusion and that the wellbeing of their staff matters.

Save the Family Drug and Alcohol Court

We understand that hard work has gone into the methods for helping families who produce addictive children and that the results are good but now the court may close in September.  See: