Why consider family mediation as an option?

Mediation can be a much quicker and less expensive way to resolve issues in dispute rather than going through a family court process. Most solicitor firms can charge in excess of £20,000 for a full financial order through the courts which includes three hearings. This can take in excess of a year. Family mediation is agreed to be a far more amicable and conflict-reducing experience, which is especially important when there are children involved.

Is Mediation in the UK compulsory?

In most cases, it is a legal requirement to attend a MIAM before you can make an application to court to consider your case.

Do I need a solicitor?

Family mediation follows legal requirements and guidelines, but mediators cannot give legal advice. It is recommended that you take your own legal advice before and during the process. You will need a family law solicitor to make your agreement legally binding at the end of mediation.

Can my children have a say?

If your child is considered old enough and would like their voice heard, we are able to offer an appointment with a specially trained Child Inclusive Mediator. If the child agrees, the mediator will relay the child’s views to both parents. This process is called Child Inclusive Mediation.

Is family mediation just for divorcing couples?

Not at all. Family mediation can help parents who are separated, grandparents who are wishing to reconnect with their grandchildren, couples who have been cohabitating or couples who have divorced with unresolved financial or parenting disputes to revisit.

What is the difference between family mediation and counselling?

Family mediation is not counselling; it is a process that replaces going to court to resolve family matters relating to separation or divorce. It looks forward to the future, focussing on the issues to be resolved, not backwards looking over relationship difficulties. Family mediation in most cases is a legal requirement before an individual can go to court.

How does online mediation work?

We will send you an invitation via email to attend the session on zoom or face to face at a pre-agreed time. When meeting with the mediator, to ensure confidentiality we ask that you are alone in a quiet place without interruption. We ask you to agree not to record the sessions in any way or impart any of the conversations to other individuals.

Who pays the mediation costs?

Each party are responsible for their own costs unless they agree otherwise.

Do I have to be in the same room as my ex-partner?

If you do not feel comfortable being in the same room as your ex-partner, we are able to proceed with mediation with you both in separate rooms. This is known as ‘shuttle mediation’ whereby the mediator will speak to you each individually and communicate to the other party on your behalf and vice versa. When we are working online, we will mediate between separate waiting rooms on zoom ensuring that you do not have to face one another.

What if the other party doesn’t want to attend?

Family mediation is a voluntary process, and we can’t force anyone to attend. During your initial assessment meeting (MIAM), you will have the opportunity to discuss your situation with your mediator and together you can decide on the suitability of mediation. Both parties have to want to attend and engage in the process, working together with the mediator to find the best outcome. If mediation is deemed not suitable, then your mediator will be able to provide you with information on alternative methods of dispute resolution.

What happens if family mediation breaks down?

Our mediators are skilled at diffusing conflict and helping couples explore a variety of options leading to positive outcomes. However, there are some situations where family mediation breaks down or mediation is unsuitable. In these instances, your mediator will provide information on alternative dispute resolution.

What is a consent order?

A consent order is a legally binding document that sets out the financial agreement between you and your partner typically when you are divorcing. When agreement is reached in mediation, we can produce an Open Financial Statement and a Memorandum of Understanding which can be given to your solicitor to help draft your consent order. Your consent order will only become legally binding once it is approved by the court.

What is an Open Financial Statement?

This is an open summary of the financial disclosure provided by each party. Full and frank financial disclosure is a legal requirement and is the key to structuring your financial resolution. Once this statement is considered as accurate, it can be presented to the court.

What is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)?

This is a document that sets out a summary of any mutually accepted agreements made by both parties in mediation, relating to the redistribution of assets and if applicable, any child arrangements. This document is legally privileged, which means it cannot be used in court. However, it can be given to your solicitors along with your financial statement to help draft a consent order.

What is a Statement of Outcome?

This is a document that sets out a summary of any mutually accepted agreements made by both parties in mediation, relating to child arrangements. It can be given to your solicitors to be made legally binding.

Where can I get more information on family mediation?

Please contact mediationwithcare.co.uk