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 with issues to do with children, the assets, where everyone will live, 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.
In mediation, you usually talk face to face (in person or online) with the other person about the arrangements. You can also bring lawyers with you, and many mediators are trained to work in a way that involves solicitors or other neutral professionals – the mediator or mediators.
The foundation of mediation is that it is voluntary, it is confidential, the mediators are neutral and families are in charge of their own decision making.
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.
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.
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.
Mediation sessions have a minimum fee of £450 (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 and explain what it covers.