About Family Mediation

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process which helps joint decision making without the use of courts. Due to changes in the law in 2011, family mediation is becoming the preferred method to resolve and prevent disputes. It is a 'without prejudice' process which means anything said in mediation cannot be disclosed in court unless both parties agree. Confidentiality does not apply, however, if there are significant concerns about the well-being and safety of children or adults - in such cases the appropriate agency will be contacted.

The mediators do not tell you what to do. They are there to help you reach your own agreements concerning all aspects of your separation or divorce e.g. children, finances, property etc. Freely negotiated agreements can help restore communication, understanding and trust.

Who is Family Mediation for?

Our service is open to any separating or divorcing parents or couples who are experiencing difficulties agreeing arrangements for their children or finances, including property. We offer mediation to all, regardless of age, race, nationality, sexuality, mobility, faith and other such factors.

Mediation is also available to other family members, such as grandparents, who may be having difficulties over contact and residence arrangements.

How can Mediation help?

Family Mediation offers you a 'time out' in a neutral, safe place where you and your former partner can meet with an impartial mediator to work out an agreement concerning your children and / or finances.

Where children are involved, whilst you may cease to be partners, you will always be parents and we believe you are the best people to decide your children's future. Our expert family mediator can assist you in the law relating to all of these issues and help to come to a settlement.

How long does it take?

Typically, for  most issues including  children finance and property, usually between 3 -5 sessions. This would take place over a period of several weeks, or even months depending on how soon you wanted to come to an agreement.

Do I need a solicitor?

You do not need to have seen a solicitor before meeting the mediator. Many of our clients are referred to us initially by their solicitor. If you wish, you can instruct a solicitor to obtain independent legal advice during the process of mediation. It is entirely optional. You will have to pay for this separately. The mediator will talk to you about this and options available to you.

A record of any agreement reached during mediation will be provided to you when mediation is complete. This agreement will not be legally binding, though it will be drawn up by the mediator who is a former family law solicitor. You can then take it to your solicitor to have the agreement formalised by a court order. This is often the case where proposals are made relating to property and finances. The mediator is qualified to draw up the settlement agreement and has considerable experience in doing this. Naturally, you may wish to have your own solicitor check over the agreement to see that it if meets your requrements.

What if there is already a court case?

Although we are independent of the court, you may still be referred to our Service if the court thinks the Family Mediation & Advisory Service could help you. Time will be allowed for this in the court process. In most cases, the court would want you to make your own decisions rather than these being imposed on you by the court.

Since the April 2011, Judges are increasingly referring parties to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before the case can progress in court. This is an initial meeting with the mediator who will provide you with the information about alternative options to court, the mediation process and assess whether mediation is appropriate in your circumstances.

 

What about financial and property matters?

We can mediate about finance and property matters whether or not children are involved. You may need to decide together what to do about:

 ·       the house

 

 ·       maintenance

  

 ·       pensions

     ·       savings or any other assets

     ·       debts

     ·       child support

 

The mediator can help you look at different options for sorting things out. You may need to plan for future change to income or expenditure following your separation. Mediation will involve making full financial disclosure so that you can make informed decisions about your finances together - the mediator will talk to you both about this.

How can I make an appointment?

We would be pleased to hear from you directly on 01923 869036

or click here to submit a form.

 

What if my partner doesn't want to come?

We can arrange separate interviews for each of you first of all, so that you can discuss your situation individually and find out more about the mediation process. However, we are also able to see you together for the first interview, should you so wish. Please note that mediation cannot work unless you both voluntarily attend the subsequent mediation sessions together.

If you prefer, we can arrange meetings to take place over the telephone or Skype by way of a 3- way link.

 


Read about mediation in 'The Daily Telegraph'


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/divorce/9776487/Divorcing-couples-should-try-mediation-before-using-courts.html?temp-new-window-replacement=true