Back to Blog

A Very Amicable Separation

Two days before Christmas actress Helena Bonham Carter and film director Tim Burton announced their separation after 13 years together. Many will recall their living arrangements whereby they both lived in adjoining houses whilst bringing up their two children.

Since the announcement they have been photographed in public together at two family outings with their children.

Now that Christmas is over many separated parents will heave a sigh of relief at managing the festive period and sharing the precious time with their children between two households, that of mum and dad. Some post separation families are lucky enough to still get on and even manage to spend the festivities together with their new partners and step children sitting around the table but this rarely happens.

How couples manage their separation and the weeks and months afterwards can and will determine how they communicate in the future and if they have children this is something that they will have to do for a long time. If the couple have been through a bitter court case then that communication may have broken down completely.

Family Mediation is an alternative to court proceedings for couples to resolve their disputes about property and their children following divorce or separation and the Mediator can help the couple to communicate.

In any event before starting divorce court proceedings it is now compulsory except in certain exceptional circumstances to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)  to find out if Mediation is suitable and the best way forward.

Here at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Milton Keynes, Tara Deegan our Solicitor Mediator is trained to offer MIAM meetings and can offer appointments at short notice at our offices in Central Milton Keynes. Tara is not only trained as a Mediator but has been a Family Law Solicitor for 21 years so brings years of experience to her role as Family Law Mediator.

It will usually take a series of meetings between the separating couple and the Mediator. Throughout the process they work with the Mediator, to help them both reach an agreement that they both feel comfortable with. Mediation gives the couple a degree of control over the speed and cost and is invariably quicker and less expensive.

For further information about our Family Mediation services in Milton Keynes Tara is available to discuss any initial enquiry over the telephone at no charge; and then charges £89 +VAT each or £130 +VAT per couple for the first MIAM meeting.

Thereafter Mediation sessions costs £150 +VAT per person a rate that is lower than most family lawyers. As Mediation involves direct meetings and discussions the costs remain low as compared to instructing a Divorce Solicitor and the process can sometimes reach a resolution after a few weeks.