FAQ’s – Family Mediation

Family mediation may be a difficult procedure to navigate. We’ve compiled a collection of the most commonly asked questions concerning family mediation in this section. We hope this information is helpful, but if it is not, please submit your question using the contact form provided below, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

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Family mediation is a procedure for addressing disputes arising from a divorce, a separation, or continuing child custody and support arrangements. In the past, if you and your partner could not come to terms on these issues, you would have had no choice but to submit an application with the family court for either a Child Arrangement Order or a Financial Order, which would have been your only option. When it comes to family disagreements, the court system is not the greatest location to address them since it is time-consuming and expensive to go through the process of reaching a decision.

Family mediation eliminates the need to go to court in many situations. Most people can reach an agreement with the help of a skilled family mediator, allowing them to go on with their lives.

Having a neutral third party regulate the debate, maintain equity and fairness in the process, and keep talks focused on the issues that matter is a good thing. Across the country, more than 70% of customers reach an agreement through mediation services.

The process is not therapy or relationship counselling, and while it may examine the manner in which you interact with one another, it is primarily concerned with planning for the future rather than reflecting on the past.

This might differ from one individual to another. Many people are able to achieve an agreement in only one joint mediation session on a single topic, such as parenting arrangements over the holidays, a vacation abroad, or a modification in the amount of spousal support.

The typical number of 90-minute mediation visits for most clients dealing with parenting or financial issues is three.

You will be required to complete an initial mediation meeting, known as an MIAM, in order to proceed. They are also referred to as an intake meeting in some circles. These are often attended on your own, however you may be able to attend with a friend or two. However, even if this is the case, the mediator will want to speak with each of you on an individual basis.

The MIAM is used for two distinct purposes:

  • Your chance to tell the mediator about your position, what the difficulties are, what you would want to happen, and any worries you may have will take place during this session.
  • It also enables the mediator to provide you with comprehensive information on how mediation works in general. The mediator will next determine whether or not mediation is appropriate in your situation. At this point, you may also determine whether or not to seek mediation as well.

To learn more about Mediate UK’s approach, please see the flow chart below. We are distinct from other mediation services in that we can also make your agreements legally binding as parts of a fixed cost package, which is not available with most mediation services.

However, the procedure begins in the same way across the country. In the majority of circumstances, we would meet with you separately for your MIAM first, and then establish a strategy for your combined mediation appointments thereafter. We would typically address any parenting arrangements first, followed by completing a financial disclosure with you both and then going over your financial agreement, if there is one.

It is customary to have an outcome summary written at the conclusion of your joint meetings, and after agreement has been reached, the mediator can develop a comprehensive parenting plan, memorandum of understanding, and financial agreement.

Depending on your circumstances, these documents can then be rendered legally enforceable by signing them.

Every family mediation agency in the United Kingdom should urge that clients seek legal guidance throughout the process. Obtaining sound legal counsel before and during the procedure may be beneficial, and a solicitor can also verify your agreement at the conclusion of the process. Furthermore, Mediate UK provides fixed cost legal advice, which includes a written report that you may use as a starting point for mediation if you so want.

At the conclusion of the mediation process, you will almost always require the services of a family law solicitor or lawyer in order to have your agreement made legally binding, unless you choose for one of Mediate UK’s legal packages. You always have the option to choose.

Prior to asking a court to rule on your case, you must first explore mediation by attending a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). In most situations, this is required by law before you may ask the court to rule on your case. There are now 15 exceptions to this rule, which include anything from domestic abuse to living overseas and kid safety to child protection. If, after attending an MIAM, either you (or the mediator) decide that you do not wish to participate in mediation, you are not required to attend the next MIAM.

If you have been invited to an MIAM and do not answer or refuse the invitation, you may be required to justify your decision to the court.

In rare situations, the court may order a temporary halt to your proceedings while you seek to resolve the situation through mediation. Even under such instances, you are not required to appear in court, though the judge will want to know why you are not there.

In no way, shape, or form. Family mediation may assist parents who are separated, grandparents who are trying to acquire access to their grandchildren, couples who were previously cohabiting, and couples who have divorced but are still dealing with financial or parental difficulties that need to be resolved.

The use of family mediation might be beneficial if you want to make a formal application in court to address the situation.

According to a research conducted by the Family Mediation Council in 2019, the average hourly charge for family mediation, including VAT, is £140 per person per hour, on average. The vast majority of difficulties are handled in three to four 90-minute sessions, on average. According to Mediate UK, it will cost £632.50 per person, including VAT, to get a settlement in this time frame.

If you are receiving certain government benefits or have a low income and little assets, you may be eligible for legal assistance for mediation services. If you qualify, the opposing party will not be required to pay for their MIAM or their first joint mediation session if you qualify.

This has been agreed upon by both of you. Because it demonstrates a dedication to the process when all parties pay their fair amount, most providers will quote per person rather than per item. Couples will occasionally agree that they will attend if the other party pays, and other times they will agree to pay for the charges out of the financial arrangement that they have established.

The majority of mediation firms will need you to pay for the mediation services you receive on the spot.

There are four primary reasons why you should consider using family mediation to resolve your dispute.

  • We are aware that it is necessary to take it into consideration. But why is this the case? Mediating conflicts is seen to be a considerably superior alternative to going to court by the vast majority of family law practitioners, the courts themselves, and the Department of Justice, among others.
  • It is more expedient – according to an Aviva Report released in 2018, the average time it takes for a financial order to be finalised is 14.5 months on average. Mediation may be set up in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the circumstances.
  • A complete financial order through the courts, which includes three hearings, will cost you more than £20,000 in most cases, according to attorneys. It is less expensive to do so.
  • You will have a more pleasant relationship – this is especially crucial if you have children together, regardless of their ages. Courts are designed to be adversarial in nature.

A family mediator can be classified into three categories:

Family Mediator who has received specialised training (FMCT)

Although not formally recognised as an FMC standard, this implies that they have successfully completed a family mediation training course that has been authorised by the FMC. The most of the time, they will be working towards their certification.

Family Mediator with Accreditation (FMCA)

This indicates that the mediator has finished a portfolio of cases, which typically takes around 2 years.

A Professional Practise Consultant is a person who consults on a professional basis (PPC)

It is the most experienced family mediator who will have successfully completed a subsequent PPC course and will have gained several years of experience in the process. They will serve as mentors and advisors to other family mediators.

Yes! In fact, in the field of family law, it is encouraged. If both parents agree, the children can be invited to mediation by a family mediator who has received specialised training. The child(ren) will speak to the mediator on their own behalf, and the mediator will then relay this information to the parents in a separate meeting with the children’s permission.

If you went to court, CAFCASS will talk with the children as long as they are of a specific age and the judge agrees with your request. As a result, family mediation seeks to supplant this existing method.

Absolutely. In the United Kingdom, it is one of the five fundamental principles of family mediation. During the MIAM, you are free to express yourself to your mediator without being concerned that what you say will be sent to the other side. You can also explore possibilities, solutions, and proposals during mediation without being obligated to accept them if the mediation does not work out as planned.

The majority of divorce mediation in the United Kingdom is ‘without prejudice,’ which means you may safely make proposals and explore solutions without feeling obligated to accept them if your case ends up in court. It is a completely risk-free atmosphere in which to negotiate.

Except in rare circumstances, such as when a kid appears to be at danger of significant damage or when money laundering appears to be taking place, this secrecy is maintained. In certain exceptional instances, the mediator is legally obligated to provide this information to the parties involved.

The mediator and you will have agreed on what you desire to discuss during the mediation sessions before the sessions begin. This will normally concentrate around what kind of future parenting arrangements you can come to an agreement on, as well as what kind of financial deal you can come to agreement on. However, it can also include discussions on how you will interact with each other in the future or what interim arrangements can be made while your divorce mediation is being conducted.

Aside from general difficulties, family mediation may address particular issues such as family vacations, Christmas arrangements, and who will make the next mortgage payment on your house.

Grandparents who seek to make plans to see their grandkids might benefit from mediation services as well.

There are several variances, but the following are the most significant:

  • Family mediation is a procedure that can be used instead of going to court.
  • Mediation focuses on the future of the partnership rather than on the past.
  • Family mediators are more concerned with the issues that need to be handled than they are with the underlying connection.
  • In most circumstances, prior to going to court, a legal duty is to pursue mediation as an option.

Counseling may undoubtedly benefit your ongoing connection with each other as well as your interaction with your extended family. You may look for local counsellors by using this search engine.

Please contact us to find out how Albion Mediation can assist you with your parenting or financial dispute, as well as with a divorce, separation, or legal advice. Albion Mediation is a non-profit organisation that provides mediation services throughout the United Kingdom. CALL 0141 295 0021 OR GO TO THIS LINK.