Family Mediation – There is much more to it than Divorce and Separation

Paul Sandford
Paul Sandford
Mediator and
Tribunal Judge

If you ask a passer-by what she or he thinks family mediation is about the chances are that that person will mention divorce, separation or disputes about child contact.

In one sense this is correct and it is certainly true that family mediators deal with these types of issues quite routinely.

However, one of the important constituent parts of the term “family mediation” is the word FAMILY.

Are you perhaps involved with one of the following types of dispute which arise more often that our hypothetical passerby might imagine? If so, would you like it to be resolved promptly and cost-effectively?

  • a case involving the parents of a child in local authority care who may be denied any contact;
  • a case involving a grandparent, aunt or uncle who is denied contact with a much loved grandchild, nephew or niece because the child’s parents have separated;
  • a dispute involving a family house sharing arrangement possibly where there is concern about a potentially vulnerable family member leaving home;
  • a case involving a dispute between siblings about a family will or the administration of a trust or estate;
  • an Inheritance Act claim where a close family member or a potentially deserving relative has been left out of a will and has taken the matter to court;
  • an acrimonious dispute affecting a family partnership or company that may ultimately affect its financial viability and the livelihoods of those who work in it;
  • a dispute between siblings or other family members about who cares for an elderly or infirm relative;
  • disagreements about funeral arrangements,
  • A dispute between parents and their child’s school.

If any of the above apply, then mediation may well be for you.


Paul Sandford ( ) is an accredited civil mediator and Tribunal Judge. He is also an associate of a Birmingham-based firm of solicitors, My Business Counsel.

He mediates for a leading UK charity and has the benefit of having worked as a solicitor for around 25 years.  He has also worked as a trainer and university lecturer and has considerable experience of working with people who are disabled or who do not have English as a first language.

As well as being Regents University accredited, Paul recently completed ADRg civil/commercial and family training .

He has particular  knowledge and experience of housing, property/commercial, medical and public law issues and employment, workplace, family and educational disputes. He is a member of two mediation panels: Clerksroom, which has excellent conference call facilities, and the Business Mediation Group. In his spare time Paul enjoys cooking, football, test cricket and listening to the blues, and fundraises for his school.

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