What is mediation?

You may be wondering what mediation is all about. You may be wondering if mediation actually works...


In 2013 “nearly two thirds of couples who attended a single mediation session for a child dispute reached a full agreement. Almost seven out of every ten couples who opted for mediation reached an agreement.”

How does mediation work?

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which enables both parties to explain their concerns and needs to each other in the presence of a qualified mediator, reducing conflict by improving communication and understanding, allowing you to make informed, balanced decisions about your future.

What can I expect?

At Stratford Family Mediation practice, Catherine specialises in helping resolve disputes involving all kinds of family relationships, with mediation sessions focused on you and your unique circumstances.

Catherine will offer support and direction for clients who want to separate, divorce and parent amicably, or want to resolve other family disputes, for example between older children or relatives.

Of course, this is far easier said than done, and a lack of faith or trust can be normal as well as distressing, but Catherine will take you through your dispute resolution options so you can reach an agreement that suits your situation.

What do I do next?

To book an introductory meeting with Catherine, please click here.


Contact Catherine if you need a MIAM – Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting – and authorised court application forms for England and Wales (Form C100, Form A).

The 4 core principles of mediation


Mediation is voluntary.


Mediation is confidential, except where there is risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult or where the court requires disclosure. (See Data Protection)


Mediators are impartial; they facilitate negotiation towards settlement and have no vested interest in the outcome.

Decision Making

Decision making rests with participants in mediation.

Mediation is underpinned by:

  • Suitability and safety.
  • Respect for individuals and cultural diversity.
  • Child focus.
  • Mediator competence.
  • Mediation is NOT:

    • Reconciliation
    • Counselling or therapy
    • A substitute for legal advice
    • An opportunity to impose views upon the other party to the mediation
    • An opportunity to abuse or bully participants to the mediation process
    • Legally binding
    • Imposed


    The Family Mediation Council Code of Practice 2010 defines the aims of mediation as:

    ‘2.1 Mediation aims to assist participants to reach the decisions they consider appropriate to their own particular circumstances.

    2.2 Mediation also aims to assist participants to communicate with one another now and in the future and to reduce the scope or intensity of dispute and conflict within the family.

    2.3 Where a marriage or relationship has irretrievably broken down, mediation has regard to the principles that the marriage or relationship should be brought to an end in a way that a) minimises distress to the participants and to any children; b) promotes as good a relationship between the participants and any children as is possible; c) removes or diminishes any risk of abuse to any of the participants or children from the other participants; and d) avoids any unnecessary cost to participants.’

    Source: FMC COP