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We are opening the doors to a new mediation service in Harrogate.

As a firm we were inspired to open an office dedicated to family mediation in response to a Yorkshire-wide trend towards a more conciliatory approach to divorce and separation.

Having worked as family solicitors for many years Laura and Sally both trained as family mediators after recognising that professional input during family disputes could help reduce the number of couples going through the court system.

We have now taken things a step further by opening a specialist Consilia Mediation practice in the centre of Harrogate that will take instructions from local family law firms and individuals.

“There is a real and growing desire, particularly amongst couples with children, to settle differences out of court and find a way to separate amicably,” said Laura.

“Mediation helps people reach agreements over the immediate issues as well as finding ways to communicate on parenting in the future so that couples can continue to bring up their children together even when they are living apart,” she added.

Both Sally and Laura work extensively with community organisations and charities to promote a non-confrontational approach to family law.

In addition to her work as a family mediator, Laura has trained local magistrates and legal advisors to understand the role mediation can play in family disputes. She is a committee member of Resolution and is committed to resolving family disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational way. She is also co-founder of Leeds professional network The Private Client Forum.

Sally has recently been appointed onto the national board of the Family Mediators Association. Sally  works as a supervisor for mediators in training and is family mediation representative on the West Yorkshire Family Justice Board. She has also trained magistrates legal advisors and other lawyers in relation to the role of child inclusive mediation.

Sally said promoting mediation and best practice amongst professionals who regularly come into contact with families going through divorce and separation was an important part of their work.

“Laura and I are actively involved in promoting the benefits of mediation and our work with fellow professionals and community groups furthers our understanding of the issues that may prevent people from seeking the mediation route and helps us improve the choices available to families in our region,” she said.