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Family mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which allows a couple who are separating or divorcing to talk face to face with the assistance of a mediator rather than through lawyers or in a courtroom. Both parties attend these meetings on their own behalf. During a series of meetings the mediator works with both parties to discuss all issues relating to their particular situation and explore possible options for settlement. The mediator is an impartial third party. Their role is to manage the process of jointly agreeing a settlement. They can provide alternative ways of looking at the issues. The mediator does not impose a decision on either party. Through mediation both parties control the outcome and have a responsibility for all the decisions made. At the end of a successful mediation the mediator will produce a summary and the solicitors will then draft a formal legal document for signing to give full legal effect to the terms agreed.