What is mediation?

Mediation is a way of helping couples, who are in the process of divorcing or separating, to decide what to do about arrangements for their children, property, assets, debts and child or spousal maintenance.

Advantages of mediation

• Disputes resolved through mediation are generally cheaper, quicker and less acrimonious
than those decided at court.

• Collaborative plans made in mediation are generally more enduring than the decisions
imposed in parties in a court and can ensure better outcomes for separated families.

• Helps families to develop a new child focused working relationship and works to build
trust and improve communication.

• Using lawyers to communicate can push parties apart and fracture communication.
Lawyer communication can also be time consuming, problematic and expensive.

• Mediation can be creative and it is possible to reach agreements on legal and non-legal
issues and to develop proposals that a court could not.

• Less expensive, faster and less stressful than relying on others to make decision for you.

• Keeps the most relevant people in charge of decision making (mums and dads usually
know what is best for them and their children).

• Mutual decision usually endure longer than imposed ones.

• Taking a step by step approach while building communication and trust allows parties to
turn the ‘ship’ from one direction to another.

• Working session by session gives parties the chance to try out their arrangements to see
what works and what does not in practice.

• The adversarial nature of the court pits parties against one another rather than
focusing on how they can work together.

• The legally privileged nature of mediation allows parties the freedom to propose,
consider and test out arrangements without the fear of legal consequences.

• Mediation allows parties to come up with solutions that a court might not – the court has
limited remedies but your decisions do not have to be.

• Having the decision makers present avoids the expense, frustration and time wasting of
sending snail mail.

• Hearing court cases takes a long time and judges, or magistrates, have an increasingly
limited time to really listen to parties. It can be unpredictable and there might only be a
limited tie forthem to decide.

• Mediation is private and confidential, court files are public records and are likely to be
available online soon.

• Paying a solicitor to hang around at court costs a great deal and can be very frustrating
while nothing is moving forward.

• The adversarial nature of the courts can destroy the ability of parties to work together,
it is a toxic process and parents will hopefully continue to be parents for a long time.

If you are just starting to separate or think about divorce or arrangements about the children, just click on the link below to download any of these free resources.

Why mediate?

According to the MOJ, nearly two thirds of couples who attended a single joint mediation session for a child dispute reached a full agreement, with a further seven out ten reaching agreement overall.

National Audit figures on legally-aided mediation show that the average time for a mediated case to be completed is 110 days compared to 435 days for the court to decide on similar issues.

Mediation is usually cheaper than using the court to decide – data from legal aid cases shows that the average cost per client of mediation is £535 compared to £2,823 for cases going to court. Using the court to resolve issues can be significantly more expensive.

Principles of mediation

Clients stay in control of decisions and not the mediator

Family mediators recognise parents as the experts in making decisions and seek to empower them to do so in a constructive and collaborative way. Whilst mediators control the process, parties control the decisions.

Mediation is voluntary

Whilst attending a MIAM to find out options is compulsory for many applicants into the court, mediation remains a voluntary process and it is for the clients to decide if it is a process they wish to engage with.

Mediation is confidential

Information and proposals made in mediation remains confidential and without prejudice with some limited exceptions. Proposals made in mediation cannot be communicated to anyone else. Proposals will only become legally binding once the court endorses your decisions.

Mediators are independent, neutral and impartial

Mediators act for clients equally. Mediators to not act as a judge, give legal advice, decide who is right or wrong or good or bad. Mediators do not have any prior personal or business connection with any party.

Process of mediation

• Meet party 1 for MIAM
• Meet party 2 for MIAM
• Joint session(s)
• Agreement

Each client attends a separate MIAM, or mediation information and assessment meeting. This is for a mediator to give information on the different venues to resolve disputes; for the mediator to assess the suitability of mediation and for the client to then make an informed decision about the venue they wish to resolve the dispute.

Mediation then takes place with clients either in the same room at the same time or in separate rooms with the mediator moving between rooms and taking proposals form one room to the other.

Clients have as many sessions as they need until they reach agreement or end the process.

The mediator will draft relevant documents to summarise decisions or proposals and any financial information

Reasons to mediate with us:

• Very experienced full time mediators
• Free mediation for those eligible
• Extremely competitive fees for private clients
• Convenient locations
• Quick appointment availability
• Competence assessed mediators able to sign court forms
• Able to conduct child inclusive mediation

Book an online MIAM with one of our mediators

Contact us