03 November 2014
Family Mediation Explained by Family Law Solicitor
Recent data from the UK Government shows that 8 out of 10 people that begin Family Mediation go on to reach an agreement.
What is Family Mediation?
Family Mediation is a way to help couples separate without going to Court. The Mediator usually meets with you and your partner together to help you to reach an agreement about the arrangements for your children and/or how you separate your finances.
How Does Family Mediation Work?
One or both of you can contact the Family Mediator, if you contact the Mediator he/she will then contact your partner. Your Solicitor can refer you to a qualified Family Law Mediation specialist or you can contact one direct.
At Slater and Gordon our Family Solicitors don’t charge for the initial consultation. We then have a fixed fee structure. Mediation meetings will be arranged when, with the help of the Mediator, you can work on communication between you, renew arrangements for the children, exchange financial information and consider options. When you have proposals that you both find acceptable, our qualified Family Law Mediator will prepare a summary of these and a summary of the financial information.
Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAMs)
Since April 2014 anybody wanting to go to Court, with some exceptions, must attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting with a qualified Family Law Mediator to find out about Mediation and if it’s suitable for them.
How Long Does Family Mediation Take?
The first meeting, the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting, usually lasts an hour and we can meet you together or individually. All other Mediation sessions last 1 to 2 hours and it can take between 1 to 5 sessions to reach an agreement.
How Much Does Family Mediation Cost?
At Slater and Gordon Lawyers your first contact with a qualified Family Law Mediation specialist is free. We then charge £89 + VAT each or £139 + VAT per couple for the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) and £150 + VAT per hour each for the Mediation sessions plus an admin fee of £75 + VAT each for each session for drawing up the minutes. We charge a final fee of £150 + VAT each for preparing the final documentation, the summaries. This rate is less than most Family Lawyers and certainly those with our Mediators’ experience.
Is Family Mediation Binding?
Any agreement reached in Family Mediation is not legally binding but you can take the agreement to your Solicitor to turn it into a binding Court order or separation agreement if that is necessary.
Is Family Mediation Quicker than Going to Court?
Mediation is much quicker than Court proceedings and meetings can be arranged very quickly and at short notice with the Mediator. Sometimes, however, it’s necessary to obtain information or you might need time to think about your options and to make decisions.
Do I Have to Meet with My Ex?
If you cannot sit in the same room together we can offer ‘shuttle mediation’ with you in different rooms if this would be more appropriate for you.
Can I Get Legal Advice?
As Lawyer Mediators who have years of experience as Divorce Lawyers, we can give you general legal information which will assist with the process and your decision making. We can also refer you to a Local Family Solicitor for independent legal advice if you have not already chosen one, if this would help you.
Tara Deegan is a Family Law & Divorce Solicitor and a qualified Family Law Mediator at Slater and Gordon Lawyers offering Mediation Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) in Milton Keynes, and Family Mediation services in central London.
For a free initial consultation call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.
Slater and Gordon have the largest team of Family Lawyers in the UK and have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Merseyside, Bristol, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield, Derby, Cambridge & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire & in Hull, Yorkshire.