One of Harrogate’s most prominent family lawyers is preparing to lead the way in helping couples resolve conflicts out of court after qualifying as a family mediator.
Sarah Smith, director and family lawyer at Berwins Solicitors in Harrogate, has completed an intensive training programme with National Family Mediation which qualifies her to act as a mediator for divorcing and separating couples. Mediation has gained greater prominence following changes to the legal process as divorcing couples are required to consider mediation as a first step before issuing proceedings to resolve arrangements for their children or sort their finances.
Sarah said that she was pleased to have the formal qualification under her belt and is now getting on-the-job experience by observing and co-mediating with other local mediators.
Mediation offers an opportunity to voice disagreements with qualified advisers on hand to help iron out misunderstandings and encourage communication.
If couples can start talking early in the process it tends to be much easier for them to communicate and co-parent successfully after separating.
Paul Berwin, Managing Director of Berwins, said Sarah’s qualification represented a major step forward for the firm’s family law department.
Sarah is already well known for her progressive and pragmatic approach to resolving family disputes and is a strong advocate of Collaborative Law, a round table approach to divorce.
As a member of the Law Society’s Family Panel and a lawyer with accredited specialist status from Resolution in financial provision and children, Sarah is one of the region’s leading family law experts and her qualification as a mediator puts her at the forefront of her field yet again.