Guide to family mediation

Posted on

"We have very good reasons for needing to reach agreement and think we can, but we just need some help to get there."  

If this is how you feel, then mediation may be for you.

How does it work?

Either one of you will make contact with us and an initial appointment will be confirmed by both of you.  Prior to the first face-to-face meeting, you will be sent the Agreement to Mediate and the Mediation Information Form.

The first meeting with the mediator is a short assessment meeting on your own which is confidential (save where you report a risk to your children).

This enables the mediator to assess whether both of you are suitable for mediation and understand the process.

If both of you wish to proceed and the mediator feels that there are no adverse factors to prevent mediation, then the first of the mediation meetings will take place.

How long will it last?

There are commonly four 1.5 – 2 hour sessions and you will be given a clear indication of the likely cost at the outset. You may have more or fewer sessions than this depending upon the level of complexity.  The mediator will also spend some time drafting the Memorandum of Understanding which you have reached.

Mediation flow chart

Will I also need a solicitor?

We advise that you obtain your own solicitors to support the process and guide you on issues, such as the negotiations, the disclosure of financial documents and upon the Memorandum of Understanding.  They will need to convert this into a Consent Order for the Court in due course.  You should obtain an estimate from your solicitor for their involvement.

What is the role of Blake Morgan?

Our Family Mediators are trained by Resolution (First for Family Law) and are also solicitors at Blake Morgan. The mediation is administered through Blake Morgan.  The mediators will provide legal and financial information in an impartial way to help you understand the options available to you.  The choices and decisions are yours and the mediator will not make judgment about your individual or joint situation, nor provide advice on your 'best interests'.  They will help you both to reality test the options and discuss with you both which solutions might work best for you and your family.

Why might I not do it?

Mediation is not an easy option, but it may be the best one.  The process will involve some difficult decisions, where you may have to compromise, and there will be challenging times particularly when dealing with painful issues.  You will have to sit in the same room as your former life partner and work with them to reach a resolution.  However in the majority of cases, people work through the tough patches in the process and reach an agreement that both parties can live with, whilst maintaining a constructive relationship for the future.

What issues can mediation deal with?

The mediation process can be used for divorce and separation, financial issues and dealing with arrangements and disputes relating to children. It can be used where you may own property together or have children together but have not married.  It can also be used for disputes between family members arising out of an inheritance or in community based problems such as neighbour disputes.  It is most useful when there is a desire to maintain a relationship after the conflict has ended. 

What will mediation cost?

Our mediators charge for an introductory meeting which usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. Each follow up mediation session will last between one and a half and two hours and will vary in cost as laid out below. The cost will be shared between the parties. 

Depending on the complexity, most mediation programmes will take four to five sessions.

Mediator   Introductory meeting Mediation session

Christine Plews

Oxford / Reading  £100.00 + VAT per person £150.00 + VAT per person per hour 

Flora Grossman

Southampton / Portsmouth £100.00 + VAT per person £150.00 + VAT per person per hour

For further information please contact: