Taking your dispute through the Courts can be expensive and extremely stressful. Our Barristers are highly skilled advocates and will do their upmost to guide you through this process in order to reach a satisfactory outcome, but this form of dispute resolution is not always the best method. We also offer a mediation service allowing you to resolve your case outside Court.
Mediation gives you the chance to talk to one another in a managed and controlled way. It is not bound by the rules of formal court proceedings, so you can bring up whatever concerns you most – you are not restricted to those issues which are the official, public subject of the dispute. Mediation can save you the cost in Court fees and prolonged representation expenses and also save you time in ensuring your conflict is dealt with in a speedy, mutually agreeable manner.
Mediation can be used to resolve a wide range of civil disputes and we can provide a barrister fully accredited to undertake this.
Family mediation is a more specialist form of mediation and aims not only to settle disputes, especially where children are concerned, but also to encourage co-operation between separated parents and to maintain nurturing relationships between parents and their children.
What happens in family mediation?
Most family mediation sessions last between 1 hour and 1½ hours. The first meeting with the mediator will last for up to 30 minutes. This time is used to discuss the mediation process and to ask questions. There is no change for this meeting.
Both parties are asked to attend for mediation at a mutually convenient time. This does not have to be during the working day or when children are collected from school but may be early mornings or evenings. Mediators are also prepared to travel to facilitate mediation sessions.
Mediation allows parties to discuss their issues and to reach agreement as to the way forward. This may involve finances or where the children live and when they see the other parent. However, during mediation, there may be other less obvious issues that may be considered, for example which school the children attend.
If it is felt appropriate, the children can be invited to meet with the mediator in order that their views are taken into account.
All agreements reached are recorded on a white-board. This allows both parties to see what they have agreed and should it prove necessary in subsequent meetings, reference can be made to previous agreements.
At the end of the mediation, a record of what was agreed will be drafted by the mediator (called a Memorandum of Understanding). Parties may give copies to their solicitor.
What is the cost of family mediation?
Following the initial free consultation, if participants then wish to undertake mediation, mediation can begin straightaway or further appointments can be arranged. These sessions are charged at £200 + VAT per hour. Payment can be by cheque or credit/ debit card. When the process is completed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (charged separately) is prepared which can be given to solicitors. This will allow for a consent order to be drafted if necessary, which can then be placed before a court for approval.