Frequently asked questions
How will I know mediation is right for me?
One of the Mediators will take you through the mediation process step by step and will explain what family mediation entails.
During your MIAM (assessment meeting) they will also assess whether mediation is suitable. If mediation is unsuitable in your situation, other alternatives to the Court will be discussed.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of sorting out family problems. With Mediation, you make the choices and come up with a set of proposals together. The Mediator is there to help you.
What it is not:
- Counselling or therapy, however we can signpost you to experts that can help you
- About reconciliation – mediation does not aim to dredge up the past. We aim for a new beginning, helping you to make arrangements that suit your family and especially any children
Mediation is not the right process for everyone, we will give you alternatives and more options for you during the assessment meeting if we do not think mediation is right for you.
What are the benefits of mediation?
- Empowering. Helps you make informed choices about your family.
- Decision making is yours- at Court a Judge will tell you what to do but in mediation you (together) retain control
- The Mediation discussions are structured, helping you to make progress
- Cost effective. Saves the cost of expensive court battles.
- You set the pace. Not restricted by rigid timetables.
- Quicker outcome; we can work at participant's paces allowing the freedom of not being held to a strict timetable.
- Better for children. Helps children see parents working together to resolve issues.
- Children's voice can be heard: We offer Inclusive Mediation to children who wish to be given a voice.
- Future Focused.
- Solutions based.
- Your mediator can work with you to improve communication between you.
- Confidential. Our code of practice means we must keep your information confidential.
What are the advantages of mediation over going straight to a solicitor?
It is a lot less costly than a long battle between solicitors or through the Court process.
It also gives you the opportunity to look at different options, before making choices.
What does the mediator do?
Our mediators will guide you through the process, empowering you to make choices about your family or finances. The Mediator will give both participants a safe space for you to explore options to help resolve your issues.
The Mediator is an impartial third party who keeps the conversation focused and the process running smoothly. They can also give you impartial information and/or signposting to services that may benefit you.
What does the mediator not do?
- Counselling or therapy, however we can signpost you to experts that can help you.
- The mediator does not aim to dredge up the past. We aim for a new beginning, making arrangements that suit your family and help you move on.
- The mediator cannot offer a legally binding agreement. If you want, you can take your signed agreement to a judge through court.
What is a MIAM?
A MIAM stands for a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting.
The assessment meeting is a crucial part of the mediation process.
A MIAM is an individual meeting with just you and the mediator where you get to discuss the background as to why you think you may benefit from family mediation.
The Mediator will then take you through the mediation process step by step and will explain what family mediation entails.
An important part of the MIAM is the mediator will check that mediation will be a suitable process for you both and is safe for you both to continue.
You then decide whether you want to have joint meetings with the other Mediation Participant
Do some situations get resolved at the MIAM stage?
You will not have joint discussions at the MIAM.
By attending a MIAM you will be eligible to receive a certificate stating that you have attended. This certificate can then be used to apply for court proceedings. Some people attend a MIAM simply to get the certificate. If that is you, we would suggest coming with an open mind to find out whether family mediation might work better for you than going to the Family Court.
How much does a MIAM cost?
A MIAM costs £120 +VAT (for each participant) including the certificate.
How can I prepare for my MIAM?
You will need to return a Preliminary Information Form before your MIAM – this will help the Mediator and you to make best use of the available time.
If you are legally aided, you will need to return any supporting evidence discussed as well as signing the Means7 form which we will either share or send to you.
How long is a MIAM?
You should allow between and hour and 1 hour 15 minutes for the MIAM.
How long is each mediation session?
Mediation sessions take place for approximately 90 minutes per session.
Sometimes the session will run a little longer.
Unless we have planned for a longer session, you will only be expected to pay for the first 90 minutes.
Who will be at the mediation session?
You, the other Mediation Participant, the mediator and sometimes another mediator as well (this is called a co-mediation).
Very occasionally – and with everyone’s agreement – a participant may have a support worker present with them.
There are circumstances where participants will be kept in separate spaces (shuttled mediation) but this will all be explored during your assessment meeting (MIAM).
Can the mediation session be recorded?
No, only by the mediator and if this were to happen, they will ask for consent beforehand.
How do joint mediation sessions work?
The mediator will lead the conversation and explain the process. They will also raise the points you wanted to discuss and pick out the parts that are most important to you both. If children are involved, the discussion will focus on what is best for them.
What are the advantages of mediation, when children are involved?
When children are involved, our mediators will always encourage you to put what is best for the children first.
Sometimes Child Inclusive Mediation is an option, where – with your permission – your child may be offered the opportunity to meet the Mediator in their own confidential session, giving them a voice.