Direct Mediation Services

Is mediation the same as conciliation?

Book an online MIAM

We offer an online MIAM appointment within 48 hours of booking, or even sooner. This includes options for scheduling during lunch breaks or before your children need to be picked up from school.

Apply for a Legal Aid for family mediation

We understand the urgency often tied to acquiring Legal Aid for family mediation swiftly, especially for court application requirements.

Differences between mediation and conciliation

When faced with a family related dispute, our first reaction will be to resolve the problem ourselves. We might sit down, talk it through, explore ideas, and try and find a way forward. Sometimes this doesn’t work the way we intend, and we find ourselves stuck. We need a third party to support us to settle the dispute and reach an agreement. This may point us to the Courts, however not necessarily so.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe a number of different processes to try to settle disagreements without having to go to Court. This includes arbitration, solicitor led negotiation, mediation and conciliation. At Direct Mediation Services, we specialise in mediation – however, we commonly are asked what the difference is between mediation and conciliation.

Conciliation and mediation have similarities, but they actually are quite different. The key difference is the role of a mediator and the role of a conciliator. In conciliation, the third party involved in the discussion will give advice and make interventions, so as to support the parties to settle their dispute. On the other hand, in mediation, a mediator will facilitate a constructive conversation between two participants, with a view of coming to an agreement. Mediators may make interventions, sometimes they might make suggestions, but they will never give advice. A mediator is there to empower both participants to make their own decisions.

An obvious difference between a conciliator and a mediator is that the former will try to persuade you to reach an agreement based on their own evaluations. They will listen to your discussions and make interventions they find appropriate. A mediator will facilitate the session and encourage you both to have the conversation you choose to have. They will ask questions, give you prompts, set an agenda. They will manage the conversation to keep it on track. Whilst your mediator will not give you advice or make decisions, they will give you legal information that you can use to help in your discussions.

In short, the key difference between mediation and conciliation is that your mediator will facilitate a conversation, whilst a conciliator will intervene in a conversation to offer solutions. The roles are intertwined. Mediation offers a power balance where decision making is in the hands of the participants.

Why family mediation?

As a bottom line, family mediation means that you are in control of the decisions you make about your family. A strength of mediation is that it allows both participants to share their views and opinions in a safe space and the third party will not take sides. Mediation gets to the roots of the problem and explores lots of different ways to ameliorate these with a view of reaching a positive agreement.

Some of the benefits of using mediation include:

  • It is cheaper than going through the Courts – most of the time mediation is far more cost-effective than Court as you do not require legal representation. Sometimes people choose to have legal advice whilst in mediation, but there is no requirement for this.
  • It is quicker than going through the Courts – this links with the cost effectiveness of mediation too because you should reach an agreement quicker at mediation, which means less money spent. Longer cases require more legal advice, which takes more time, and can therefore incur higher costs.
  • It allows you to settle disputes amicably – the Courts have an adversarial air where two parties go head-to-head to win their argument, At mediation, we look for a common goal and an agreement that is a win for both participants. Mediation is far less stressful than the Court process and could help you achieve an amicable divorce.

Direct Mediation Services offer family mediation for both child arrangements and disputes relating to finances and property. We offer virtual mediation over platforms such as Zoom & WhatsApp—so there is no need to travel—and we have appointment times that can work around you. We also offer next day Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs), which can be booked here.

If you would like further information, you can contact our friendly team on 0113 468 9593 or fill in the form below. We look forward to supporting you.

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Direct Mediation Services

Direct Mediation Services is a trading name of The Intelligent Solutions Group Ltd. The company is registered in England and Wales. Company number 7760633. VAT number 334 1841 12. Our company’s registered address is 5 Carla Beck House, Carla Beck Lane, Carleton, Skipton, BD23 3BQ.

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