Family Mediation - An Introduction


My name is Nicholas von Benzon and I am the director of Cheltenham Family Mediation.

I was one of the first solicitors to train as a family mediator in the early 1990’s when mediation was in its infancy. I have also worked as a relationship counsellor, and for the last seven years, I have combined these different skills and experiences working as a full-time mediator here in Cheltenham. I also now train lawyers and other family work professionals to become family mediators.

Here at the mediation and therapy rooms in Bath Street, we provide a safe and calm environment in which family disagreements can be discussed and resolved.

We work with couples who are splitting up, and those who have been apart for a long time. We also work with grandparents and other family members who have concerns about children or family property.

About half our work involves parents who need to improve or change the arrangements for their children. The other half the financial arrangements that need to be made on separation or divorce.

Family mediation helps you avoid the emotional and financial costs of Court proceedings. However much you try to protect them, children are likely to be hurt by conflict between their parents. In mediation, we help you minimise the hurt the breakdown of your relationship will cause your children.
As family mediators, we can offer a wealth of professional experience which can help you through the difficult and challenging changes you face. I sometimes find myself saying to clients “for you this will hopefully be the only time in your life you will have to make these decisions. I can help you because I work with clients who have to make similar decisions every day of the week.”

When parents split up they often find it difficult to talk about their children and offer them the shared support their children need. Family mediation offers parents an opportunity of doing just that in a safe and calm environment where different points of view can be expressed and shared decisions about their children’s future made.

Decisions about money and property are often difficult. As family mediators, we can help you decide to share your money and property in ways which you both feel is fair. We can tell you how the Courts approach particular situations and what steps you need to take to get your financial arrangements in a legally binding form.

Whatever you want to discuss we’ll begin by seeing you each on your own. This allows you to meet us without feeling the pressure of being with your ex-partner. We give you the opportunity to tell us about your situation and concerns and us the chance to explain how we work and what you can expect when the mediation process begins.

If you have any questions to ask us or have a current dispute that you looking to have resolved, then please leave a message on our blog (Your Questions) or send us a tweet @CheltMediation.

There is a lot more information on our website so please feel free to visit. If you would like to chat about your issues or dispute, then please call us 01242 220601. Sally or Alison will be delighted to answer your questions and make your initial appointment to see me or one of my colleagues. Alternatively, you can email us at

Jason Conway