A Quick Guide to Mediation

What is family mediation?

  • Family mediation helps people who are finding it hard to reach agreement to make decisions about their family's future
  • A skilled mediator will guide the discussions so that everyone can have a say and feel more in control of their own futures
  • It involves you and your ex-partner sitting together with a mediator to look at options and workable solutions 
  • Mediation can be quicker, cheaper and less acrimonious than other routes

I've been told I have to try mediation before I apply to court. Is that correct?

  • You have to consider mediation by attending a MIAM
  • The courts want to know people have at least looked at whether they can agree things between themselves and are using the courts as a last, rather than first, resort
  • You can make an appointment on your own to find out more and we can contact your ex-partner to find out if they are willing to come in for a meeting

How does mediation work?

  • During mediation, a mediator guides the discussions and makes sure that everyone’s views are heard. At TV Edwards our mediators are all highly trained, very experienced and accredited
  • When people go through divorce or separation they can experience very strong emotions, it can feel like you’re on a roller coaster. The mediator is trained to help people manage these emotions
  • The first meeting or MIAM can be held separately or jointly, during the meeting mediator will give you information and ask you what issues you want to resolve. If you are seen jointly you will still have some separate time with the mediator. You can then decide, along with the mediator, if mediation is the right way forward for you
  • Mediation can take place over one or several sessions depending on the issues

What are the benefits to you?

  • Everyone is heard and can have a say which means that you can then feel more in control of your own future
  • When in mediation, you can have a wide ranging discussion about what is important to you, for example, arrangements for children, property and finance, communication and parenting

What are the benefits for your family?

  • In mediation the needs of the whole family are taken into account
  • Specially trained mediators can discuss the option of meeting the children so that they can have a voice. This is called Child Inclusive Mediation
  • The mediator can help you to think about how you will communicate in the future. This is particularly important for parents as your relationship as partners has finished, but the parenting relationship continues

Why is it better than going through the courts?

  • Arguments can spiral out of control and you might find yourself in court. Mediation is quicker, cheaper and far less stressful than going to court
  • In mediation you make the decisions, not a stranger who doesn’t know your family

How much does the process cost?

  • Private mediation is charged by the session, there is also a charge for writing up any agreements
  • Our fees are very reasonable; our mediation co-ordinator at mediation@tvedwards.com can let you have our scale of fees
  • Legal Aid is still available for family mediation: you might be eligible for free mediation
  • When one person is eligible, the other person gets their MIAM and first session free
  • If you think you might be eligible, you can use the legal aid checker at https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid
  • The mediator will then complete an assessment with you at your MIAM
  • If you want to be assessed for legal aid, you will need to send in evidence prior to your meeting, the mediation co-ordinator will let you know what evidence you need
  • If you are eligible for free mediation sessions and attend the mediation sessions (not just the first intake session), you might also be eligible for a small amount of free legal advice (although not from TV Edwards)

How long does it take?

  • If you want to sort out child arrangements this usually takes between one and three sessions
  • Finance and property mediation usually takes around three to five sessions 

How does it guarantee a fair and legally binding outcome?

  • The mediator will check any proposals with you to make sure they are workable
  • If you want to make an agreement about finances, the mediator will require the same information as a lawyer, for example proof of any financial interests and income

What’s the one thing you should know?

  • What might not have worked yesterday, or even today, can work tomorrow. Even if you have tried mediation before, circumstances change and arrangements for children can be re-visited as children grow older