– a very sound piece of advice that in the mediation context is both appropriate and cost effective.

This very well put advice was given by the Observer Newspaper Colour Supplement Columnist, Mariella Frostrup, in one of her recent articles.

This is the sort of advice that lawyers quite rightly often give clients who are experiencing relationship difficulties. It is easy advice to give but in practice, difficult to follow, particularly in the context of very contentious, acrimonious legal correspondence or court proceedings. Invariably disputing parties are under great pressure and in truth are often as worried about the court proceedings themselves and how much it will all cost them as they are about resolving their dispute. As several of the ASM case family case studies demonstrate, in many instances short term decisions which are made in haste because of pressure, stress or short term financial considerations do not provide the basis for long term resolution of family disputes and are often regretted or resented.

​​In the context of mediation, it is much easier for the parties to follow advice such as this. They are in control of what for most people is a safe, calm, considered mediation process that tends to brings out the best in disputing parties. The process is staggered through a number of meetings and the parties do not have to make up their minds there and then in a high pressured environment. In between sessions they will have time to reflect and can consult their lawyers or other advisors without having to worry too much about large legal bills. Also, family mediation has been shown to be a vey effective process even in so caled “unlikely cases”.