What is family mediation?
Family Mediation is a quick and effective way of resolving disputes which arise from relationship breakdown. It can be less acrimonious and cheaper than other routes. A skilled mediator will guide discussions between you and your ex-partner to look at options and workable solutions that feel fair to both of you.
Mediation can deal with issues relating to children, such as contact, residence and relocation. Mediation can also be used to resolve financial issues, such as maintenance for children and/or former partner, property disputes and pensions.
Our Family Mediation Service
Mediation is conducted by a trained family mediator who is skilled at helping clients to communicate effectively to resolve all issues in dispute. Your mediator will also be an experienced family lawyer who uses a sympathetic and fair approach to help you achieve a settlement. After contacting our service you will be offered a one to one initial assessment meeting. Once your case has been assessed as being suitable for mediation, sessions are normally conducted with both clients present in the room. Sometimes mediation takes place with clients in separate rooms, and this is something we would discuss with you at your assessment meeting. Sessions are structured to allow clients to communicate effectively and negotiate an outcome which is satisfactory to both of them.
At the end of the process we can draft documents which reflect the agreement reached and summarise your financial position if appropriate. The agreement can then form the basis of a court order.
Accredited mediators are specially trained to deal with conflict resolution. The training to become a fully accredited mediator takes a number of years. Unlike your solicitor your mediator is working with you both and this is an important difference and can help to speed up the resolution process. Mediators guide you on the law and help you make the decisions.
Read more about how mediation works
MIAM or mediation information and assessment meeting is a one to one meeting with you and your mediator. This meeting allows your mediator to fully understand the issues you would like to resolve whilst importantly assessing if your case appears suitable for mediation. The mediator will also answer questions and explain all the options for resolving disputes so you are able to make an informed decision about whether mediation is right for you.
We would discuss with you how best to encourage your ex partner to engage in the mediation process and would invite them to meet with us separately. But if they refuse to take part in the process then they cannot be made to do so. By attending a MIAM meeting your mediator will then be able to issue you with a certificate confirming your attendance at that meeting and if you start court proceedings you would use this certificate to issue court proceedings. The court may at a later stage direct that you and your ex partner should attend mediation and we can then meet with your ex partner at that stage and move forward with the process.
Yes you must attend a MIAM if you want to start court proceedings and judges are trained to
actively encourage parties to consider mediation during the court case and will adjourn a case where they think mediation should be used.
Our mediators have been using zoom mediation for a number of years and it is really well suited to the mediation work we do. It means you don’t have to be in the same building and if either of you need a break during the mediation session we use the Zoom waiting rooms to allow people some space and time before moving on. The coronavirus pandemic has presented many issues for separating couples and we would refer you to our “coronavirus and mediation” articles for more information.
Read more about Disputes involving finances and the Coronavirus pandemic
Read more about Family Mediation and the Coronavirus Pandemic
There are a number of options for the way forward once you have reached an agreement. Firstly your mediator will draw up a mediation agreement setting out your agreed proposals. You can then take independent legal advice on the agreement from your solicitor. If you are making an agreement regarding finances we always encourage you to get the mediation agreement drawn up into a formal consent order through your solicitor which can be ratified by the court and therefore become a court order without you having to go to court. This is essential if you want to achieve a clean break or your agreement involves making changes to a pension.
If you agreement relates to your children then we would encourage you to put the agreement into action and set a review date with you to make sure the agreement works for you both as parents and make changes where needed. Although court orders are possible with children agreements generally the courts prefer not to interfere where parents have managed to resolve matters between themselves.
If you want more information or wish to book a MIAM appointment please contact us on 020 8514 9000 or email us and we will be in touch shortly.
Expansion of our Family Mediation team
Edwards Duthie Shamash have now expanded their mediation service to South London.
Family Mediation and the Coronavirus Pandemic
Disputes involving finances and the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Initial meetings: £100 plus vat
2. Mediation sessions: £250 plus VAT per hour (i.e. £125 per person)
3. Drafting documents: £125 plus VAT per person per document per hour
Sometimes it is appropriate to arrange sessions for more than 1 hour, and if this applies to you our rates will be varied accordingly. We charge an hourly rate of £200 plus VAT for any preparation work required outside of the mediation sessions excluding routine telephone calls. It takes us on average between 3 and 5 sessions to complete the process, depending on the issues in dispute.