Lawyer Monthly - February 2023

if parties decided to vary an existing court order(s). It is now possible to mediate online, which is useful for those clients who live far away or abroad, as it also saves time and travel costs for all concerned. Parents could agree on a parenting plan to use as a template between themselves and then continue to modify this, catering to the child’s specific needs as they grow up. In conclusion, it is far more likely that family mediation will help to ensure that a child of separating parents will retain and enjoy their loving connection with their parents and family homes instead of simply dividing their time between two different houses. In complicated cases, it is possible to co-mediate with another mediator, such as when there are different jurisdictions or laws to consider. Parents could also agree that any solution covers different jurisdictions, without the added expense of applying for mirror orders within different jurisdictions and therefore avoid this further unnecessary cost and delay. However, there are also some drawbacks to mediation. It is not legally binding and private, so any discussions from such mediation sessions cannot be used in open correspondence or proceedings at a later stage. Further, if parties change their mind, they will need to start the process all over again and go to court, which would be the same process as 50 LAWYERMONTHLY FEBRUARY 2023 About Sonia Rola Sonia Rola is a member of Resolution and a senior associate at Buckles Solicitors specialising in family law. With over 20 years’ worth of experience in the sector, Sonia aids clients in complex financial disputes and all aspects of children law both in the UK and internationally. She also undertakes her own advocacy in court and provides pro bono services to various charitable organisations to better enable her clients to understand their rights. About Buckles Solicitors Buckles Solicitors is a UK law firm that provides international, commercial and private client legal solutions for businesses and individuals. Contact Sonia Rola Senior Associate Solicitor & Accredited Family Mediator Buckles Solicitors Summit House, 12 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4QH, UK Tel: +44 02070 527826 E: Mediation remains a very underused tool, which is why it needs an awareness week.

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