Mediation is best described as a conversation between two or more people, helped by a neutral third party with no decision-making power, to voluntarily reach an outcome.

It’s not about judging who was right or wrong in the past, but looks at how to agree on working together in the future.

How it Works

Family mediation is a way of helping families to make decisions about what should happen after separation or divorce.  It can be used to help make the arrangements for children or finances, think about where everyone will live, what to do about debt, and can help with establishing new ways of communicating and working together.   It is one of a range of options that help families stay away from the court system.  It is, more often than not, where the majority of people start when they are facing family change, and we work with parents, grandparents, separated couples, caregivers and kinship carers, and others. 

In mediation, you usually talk face to face (in person or online) with the other person about the arrangements.  If this isn’t possible, then we also offer mediation in separate rooms. You can also bring lawyers with you, and many mediators are trained to work in a way that involves solicitors or other neutral professionals such as financial advisors or family consultants.

The foundation of mediation is that it is voluntary, it is confidential, the mediators are impartial, and families are in charge of their own decision making.

Mediation appointments usually last around 1½ to 2 hours, and you will almost certainly need more than one.  Quite often the first joint session will involve each of you explaining what your goals might be, and we then plan together what action you might need or want to take.  In a financial mediation, we’ll also help you deal with disclosure of your financial paperwork, which is another fundamental part.

Our mediators have a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and can give you lots of information.  For example, they can help explain the divorce process and how it ties in with organising your finances, or perhaps give you information about benefits.  We don’t provide legal advice and we’re not on ‘a side’.

Our mediation appointments generally involve one mediator, but sometimes we use two if different areas of expertise are required.  Two heads are often better than one.

We encourage our families to involve their children in the process, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.  See below for more details.

Have a look at our Factsheets which explain more about the integrated process (working with other professionals) and how children can be involved.


MIAM stands for ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’.  But really it’s just a conversation. You’ll each have a separate chat and it’s a chance for you to find out about how mediation works, and what other approaches might be available to you both. 

It’s the time for us to find out about the background to your situation, so that we can assess what might work best for you in resolving the issues that you are facing.

MIAM’s can only be undertaken by mediators who are accredited with the Family Mediation Council. 

Our fee for this initial chat is currently £99.  Legal aid is also available for this and for the mediation process itself, and we will go through this with you in the assessment meeting. You can find out more with our MIAM factsheet

Children in Mediation

In 2020 Sir Stephen Cobb set up the Family Solutions Group to look at what could be done to improve the experience of children and families before they make applications to court.  It highlighted the need to make sure that children remained at the heart of all decisions made by or about the family.  Research shows that the way parents  handle a separation has a direct effect on their children.

How Children in Mediation Works

We encourage our families to involve their children in the process, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.  Children have the right to have their voice heard – we are not asking them to make decisions, but to explain what it is like to be them, and what their hopes and aspirations are for the future of their family.  Hearing how a child feels can often be a turning point for parents.

Our specially trained team members are used to talking with young people, the meetings are friendly and informal, and we often have ideas to help support children through the changes that are happening within their families.

You’ll generally have your first joint mediation appointment with us before we see your children, who typically meet with us twice.  We can show you the things we use in our children appointments, such as the Bear Cards, and we’ll get to know a bit about them through you. Their first appointment might last around an hour, and we’ll follow that up with a Feedback Meeting for you.

The Feedback Meeting is a shorter appointment, and you’ll have time to reflect on what you’ve heard before you return to mediation.  If you’re able to make decisions together in mediation with us, we generally see children for a second appointment, again lasting around an hour, to let them know the outcome and to give them a chance to express how they feel.  Have a look at Chloe’s Story to see how taking part in mediation can help your children.


Mediation sessions have a minimum fee of £504 (in VAT) for up to 90 minutes, and this is shared between you.

Legal aid is available for mediation and we’ll assess that when we meet with you. If you are eligible, mediation will be free of charge for your share.

The Ministry of Justice is also currently funding a voucher which can contribute £500 towards the cost of mediations that involve discussions about your children.

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T: 02392 481183

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Professionally Accredited & Affiliated

Our team comprises solicitors, mediators, arbitrators and more; we are recognised and accredited specialists in family law and non-court resolution. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 473624), and subject to various rules for the professional bodies that we belong to. Click on the links for more information.

Find out how we can help, call us on 02392 481183 or Email Us

Family Solutions

T: 02392 481183
Head Office, 23 East Street,
Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1AA

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