Deciding to divorce or separate is a difficult and scary decision to make. While you may agree that it is the only answer for your relationship, there may be things you and your partner can't agree on, such as your finances and family assets or the arrangements for your children.
Family Mediation is a way of working through each other's differences regarding children or finances with the help of an impartial third person. Family Mediation is often faster, cheaper, and more amicable than proceeding to Court.
We understand that it may be overwhelming and difficult for you to speak directly to each other without your past issues getting in the way, but rest assured the process can be handled with dignity. Family Mediation will support you to find common ground by providing a safe, calm and neutral environment. It will help you find a mutually acceptable solution by supporting you to have constructive, forward-thinking discussions.
The key benefit of Family Mediation is that we take a step back and look at your relationship from an outside perspective. Having an independent person look at your relationship will help you make informed decisions without taking sides. It will help facilitate the communication between you and your partner to come to a positive outcome that you can both be happy with, allowing you to move on in your lives.
We have Resolution trained Family Mediators and Child Inclusive Mediators who can offer you their advice, guidance and support during Mediation.
The Family Mediation Process
Every Mediation brings its own unique challenges, and we will work with you in the best way to suit your situation. Mediation will always start with both parties having an individual appointment with the Mediator. During these personal discussions, you can share your side of the story, including any concerns. The Mediator will use these individual sessions to listen and gather the necessary background information and assess if Mediation will be safe and suitable in your particular case.
If Mediation is suitable and you both wish to proceed, you will move on to joint sessions. These sessions can be carried out online, together in one room, or in separate rooms with the Mediator shuttling between both. The Mediator will discuss these options with you and suggest the most suitable method based on the information acquired during the initial stage.
Once both parties have completed their joint sessions and have agreed on terms regarding their finances and children, the Mediator will collaboratively draft a detailed agreement outlining the agreed-upon terms. This is not a legally binding document, but the parties can then take these documents to a solicitor and convert them into a legally binding format.
Below is a short video produced by the Family Mediators Association to help provide a clear overview of how Family Mediation works.
Child inclusive Mediation
Child Inclusive Mediation provides the opportunity for children to attend Family Mediation. The children will have an individual session with our accreditated mediators independently, and their discussions will remain confidential if they wish. Hearing how the children feel during their parents' conflict can provide new insight and help everyone involved work towards a healthy resolution.
Child Inclusive Mediation can help children to:
Share their worries and concerns
Understand that they do not have to take sides
Express feelings that they find difficult to talk to their parents about
Help them realise that they do not have to make decisions but instead contribute to the plans for their future
Both parents must agree to proceed with Child Inclusive Mediation, and the child's age will also depend on whether this option is suitable. To help you think about matters from your child's perspective, please take a moment to read this helpful guide created by the Family Justice Young People's Board (FJYPB). FJYPB members are children and young people with first-hand experience in family law proceedings.
Child Inclusive Mediation sessions are conducted by Sam Miles, an accredited Child Inclusive Family Mediator.
Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings
The introduction of the Children and Families Bill in 2014 requires couples separating and wanting to apply for a court order concerning children or finances to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, commonly known as MIAM.
Our mediators are accredited to conduct MIAMs and can sign the necessary Court forms to show that this requirement has been complied with. Please visit our Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting page to learn more about MIAMs, the availability of Legal Aid, and the possible exemptions for attending an MIAM meeting.
Family Mediation Voucher Scheme
You may be entitled to receive £500 towards the cost of Mediation through the Government's Family Mediation Voucher Scheme. The Government introduced the incentive in March 2021. It was launched to help and support families who may be able to resolve their family law disputes outside of Court. The scheme may entitle you to receive £500 towards the total cost of our Mediation services.
The government-backed scheme was due to end in March 2023; however, due to overwhelming success, the Government extended it until April 2025. Since March 2023, approximately 15,300 families have utilised the vouchers.
When attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), a trained mediator will assess the issues you seek to resolve to determine if they are suitable for Mediation and meet the eligibility requirements for the voucher scheme. Not all cases are eligible under the scheme. To be eligible, there must be a dispute/application regarding a child or a dispute/application regarding family financial matters where you are also involved in a dispute/application relating to a child.
Please visit the GOV UK website for more information on the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme.
Frequently asked questions about Family Mediation
We are sure you will have a long list of questions about whether Family Mediation is the right option for you. Below, we have provided the answers to some frequently asked questions that people often ask us about our Family Mediation services.
Your previous Mediator may have been inexperienced or didn't have the right skills or training to understand your particular circumstances. You and your partner may not have been in the right place emotionally or financially to allow Mediation to work.
We are Resolution trained and are also experienced family lawyers, so not only do we have the personal skills but also the experience and legal background to help you resolve disputes that may not have been possible in the past.
Every relationship is about give and take; your partner is likely just as absolute in their wishes. This is why you have come to family mediation, as you can't agree on a solution.
Family Mediation will allow you to express your views and wishes in a safe and calm environment. Mediation is designed to get you talking constructively and help you and your partner understand the situation from an impartial perspective. With the help of a family mediator, you can consider options you may not have thought of before.
Mediation will help by giving you the time to have your say without interruption from the other party. The Family Mediator can set ground rules about how each of you will speak to each other and what language may or may not be acceptable. It's normal for separating parties to carry their frustrations, fears and worries into Mediation, which can spill over into raised voices and arguments. Sometimes, this is healthy, but if the Mediator feels the arguments are not helpful or if one party is being bullied or intimidated, the Mediation may need to stop. You will not be forced to endure a situation you feel uncomfortable or unhappy with.
It may be that your ex wasn't entirely supportive of the agreements made in the past, so it was inevitable that they wouldn't see them through in the long term. Family Mediation will ensure an arrangement is made that both parties agree to. After participating fully in the Mediation, most proposals are carried through and implemented long-term.
Not only this, but by using one of our qualified Mediators, we will ensure that your agreements can be converted into legally binding and enforceable arrangements underpinned by a court order.
The key to Family Mediation is letting both parties have their fair say and, most notably, having their words heard and considered. We ensure that neither party can dominate the discussions. A mediator to create a neutral and calm environment can help the dominant party evaluate their actions and encourage positive communication.
We also have several articles listed below that you may find helpful:
When going through a separation, communication with your ex-partner can be incredibly challenging, making it difficult to reach agreements that benefit your family, especially your children. As a parent, prioritising the well-being of your...
Over the years, we've helped many families navigate the complexities of separation through the robust family mediation process. As part of Family Mediation Week and to help separating couples better understand the family mediation process, we have...
In family mediation, Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM) is an approach that advocates the voices of the often-overlooked participants - the children. This specialised form of mediation provides a platform for children to engage in confidential discussions...
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