When someone is going through difficult times in relation to their marriage or relationship, I am often asked whether they should try mediation and, if so, whether they need any legal advice either before or afterwards?
My view is that it is (almost) always a good idea to try mediation, as the aim is to facilitate discussions with the other person in a neutral environment with a neutral third party. There are exceptions to this positive view of mediation, such as when there has been domestic violence (or allegations of this), or one party is concerned about bullying or coercive behaviour from the other person.
However, in most cases mediation is worth a try. It is usually sensible to seek legal advice before attending mediation, in order that you have a clear idea as to your rights, the various options available to you, issues you need to look out for, and the kind of arrangement a Court would order. This means that you are armed with enough information to know whether what is being proposed by the other person is reasonable or not.
If you do reach an agreement at Mediation then, usually, you would need a Solicitor to draft such agreement into a Court Order or other legal document. Alternatively, if you do not reach an agreement then it is advisable to seek legal advice as to the next steps.