Hybrid mediation: a better way for separating couples to reach agreement

At LGFL, we have long used mediation to help separating couples come to an agreement, but the traditional format didn’t suit everyone.

So, we’re delighted to announce that LGFL Director Anne Leiper has just qualified as a Resolution Hybrid Mediator. In her new role, she’ll be able to better help separating couples settle their issues without having to go to court, saving them time, money and stress.

Mediation isn’t just for separating spouses, as Anne explains:

“Hybrid mediation is suitable for any family dispute, whether concerning child arrangement, co-parenting, cohabitation disputes and almost any family law issue that requires the two sides to come to an agreement.”


Standard and hybrid mediation

In a standard mediation, a couple sit down in a room with a mediator and work through their differences. In hybrid mediation, couples spend part of the process in separate rooms with their own legal teams, who are there to support and advise them.

Anne has been a highly successful mediator for many years, and sees hybrid mediation as a more progressive, practical, and effective way forward.

“Couples come to us as family lawyers because they disagree on key issues when they separate, such as who lives in the family home, who looks after the children, and how the finances are divided. They may see court as the only way to resolve their differences - and that can be expensive, time-consuming, stressful and not always result in the outcome they want.

Hybrid mediation can help them to come to an agreement outside of court, which can be faster, less confrontational and saving both time and money on legal fees.”

At LGFL, we have a range of meeting spaces available at our offices. So we can offer hybrid mediation at very reasonable rates, at our discreet location just outside Reading.


Resolution Hybrid Mediation

Anne joins a select group of Hybrid Mediators trained by the Resolution organisation. Both our Directors here at LGFL are long-standing members of Resolution, whose members are committed to keeping issues that arise between couples on a relationship breakdown out of court.

The hybrid mediation process allows each person to have their own legal team, advisors and experts on hand to advise them and support their clients to negotiate an agreement. Anne’s role as the mediator is to “shuttle” between each team and discuss various options. This may also involve group meetings until a mutually acceptable agreement is reached

As Anne says, she often is “holding confidences”, but she doesn’t represent either side.

“As the mediator, I’m always a neutral third party. I can explain legal terms and inform both parties, but I won’t give them advice. That’s the legal team’s job. I’m there to explore solutions with the couple and empower them to make key decisions and agreements that both sides are willing to sign up to.”


Binding and lasting agreements

Hybrid mediation also allows couples to reach binding and lasting agreements more quickly. Mediation can take place over the course of a day, rather than separate shorter sessions. Anne finds that the best results come from a dedicated day of mediation.

“A full day is so more effective since both parties and their lawyers can focus and explore options without needing to “go away and think about it”. So often when that happens, the focus is lost on what is important and one side starts to back down on what was already agreed. This slows down the process, which in turn can have a major impact on those often stuck in the middle of warring parents, namely their children.”

Anne encourages anyone struggling to come to an agreement to try hybrid mediation here at LGFL.

“Any method that reduces conflict, creates agreements, and avoid the costs and lengthy delays of court appearances is certainly worth a few hours of anyone’s time.”


Considering getting divorced?

Talking to us first before applying online or similar can help put your situation into perspective. We offer a 1 hour reduced fee consultation to discuss your specific circumstances and concerns. We aim to give you tailored legal advice and information, so you can proceed in the best way for you, your children, and your future.

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