What is Family Mediation?
It is a voluntary and confidential process during which the Family Mediator assists you to find solutions and make decisions which feel right for you and your family following separation. Family Mediation is available to separating couples or other family members.
The Family Mediator can guide you through the process, providing information in a neutral and impartial way to include legal information. Our Family Mediator is also a practising Family Lawyer and has detailed knowledge of the laws that are relevant to you. The Family Mediator is not able to provide legal advice but will provide information about the legal process and will encourage you to seek advice from a Family Solicitor when necessary.
Why choose Mediation?
Mediation will enable:
- Discussions take place between you in a confidential and safe environment with the assistance of a specially trained Family Mediator.
- You to be given information which will enable you to access appropriate support and advice.
- You to be assisted to make decisions which are right for you and your family, within the framework of the law.
- You to develop skills which will enable you to communicate effectively with each other outside of the mediation. This is particularly important where there needs to be future discussion in relation to the arrangements for your children.
- Your children benefit from knowing that their parents have been able to reach agreement about the arrangements for them.
- You to seek legal advice with the aid of documents which record the decisions you have made and information about how you have reached those decisions.
- You to avoid the risk of lengthy, emotionally and financially costly, court proceedings.
- You to ensure that decisions are not imposed upon you.
How do I arrange mediation?
It would be sensible to speak to a Family Mediator as soon as possible after the decision has been made to separate. Please click the link here to complete our referral form. The Family Mediator will contact you as soon as possible following receipt of this from you.
The Family Mediator will take preliminary information from you about your situation during a short telephone conversation. Arrangements will be made for a first meeting at which you will be able to explore whether mediation is right for you.
The First Meeting
You will attend an individual meeting with the Family Mediator. It is sometimes called a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting). You will be given information about the mediation process and the likely timescales and costs involved. You may also be given information about other services which may be able to help and support you.
The Family Mediator will consider whether mediation is right for you or whether there may be other options which are more suitable to your situation.
We charge £120 per person (inclusive of VAT) for the first meeting/MIAM and will be payable before the meeting takes place. If mediation comes to an end and an application has to be made to the Court you require specific paperwork to send to the court, a further charge of £50 (inclusive of VAT) will be payable before the form is sent to you.
There is a legal requirement in some cases to demonstrate that you have attended a MIAM before you can issue your application. If it is clear that your only option is to apply to the Court for a Judge to make a decision, or your former partner has made it clear that they do not want to take part in mediation, please consult an Accredited Family Mediator who will provide the paperwork that you will need to send to the Court with your application.
When mediation is possible you will both be invited to attend several meetings together. The Family Mediator will help you both to discuss the future arrangements and will provide further information, as necessary, to support you in reaching decisions together.
What happens when Mediation ends?
At the conclusion of mediation, the Family Mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding which will record the decisions you have reached and provide information about how those decisions have been made. The Family Mediator will also prepare any supporting documents which will provide information which will enable you to seek legal advice from your Family Solicitor who will be able to advise and assist you to take any further steps that may be required to give effect to the decisions you have made.
How much does Mediation cost?
We do not offer legal aid for mediation. If you believe that you or the person that you will mediate with will qualify for legal aid, please consult a legal aid practice.
There will generally be 4 mediations sessions, each lasting 90 minutes. There will also be some work undertaken by the mediator outside of the mediation sessions, preparing for meetings and preparing documentation.
Our fees are as follows:
|Per person incl VAT||Per couple incl VAT|
|One session (90 minutes)||£225.00||£450.00|
|Preparations between sessions (usually 30 minutes)||£75.00||£150.00|
|Preparation of documents||£300.00||£600.00|
The charges that each of you might expect to incur if you negotiate through Family Solicitors are likely to be in excess of £3,000. Contested court proceedings would result in costs of between £5,000 and £40,000. If an agreement is reached through mediation the saving of costs can be considerable.
Most couples are able to reach agreement following 3 to 5 sessions of mediation. If you were able to resolve matters within 4 sessions the costs to each of you would be as follows:
|4 sessions of 90 minutes||£ 900.00|
|Preparation between meetings x 3||£ 225.00|
|Final documents||£ 300.00|
If you require draft documents to assist you in seeking legal advice before the end of mediation these can be provided at additional cost.