What is family mediation?
Family mediation helps you sort out the disputes that arise during your separation both in relation to your finances and the arrangements for your children. Our mediators will help you find practical solutions that you can both live with.
How mediation can help and what are the benefits?
- gives you both control over the outcome
- empowers you to achieve a settlement which is better for all of the family
- is less stressful than court
- improves your communication, especially as parents
- is more beneficial for your children
- is quicker and cheaper than court or negotiation through solicitors
- provides a summary of the outcome which can then be turned into a legally binding agreement by the court
- can help you at any time during your process, whether you have started court proceedings or not
Is mediation right for me?
We see both of you individually first for a suitability meeting - to help explain the process and answer your questions so that you can decide whether mediation would be best for you. If you decide to proceed, the mediation will take place in a number of joint sessions with the mediator during which the mediator would help you and your partner exchange all relevant information, explore your options and consider the various outcomes available to you. They will also endeavour to help you reach an agreement.
Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
Resolving family disputes in mediation is now very much encouraged and since 2014 it has been compulsory in most cases (save where for example there has been domestic violence) for anyone who is seeking to apply to court for any process relating to their children or their finances to first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a specially trained mediator approved by the Family Mediation Council, either alone or with their partner.
Hybrid mediation is a form of dispute resolution which combines the family and civil mediation models. It is more suited to high conflict or complex cases as it directly involves lawyers in the mediation process and the parties sit in separate rooms. Hybrid mediations often take place over the course of one day at the end of which the lawyers can draw up the legal paperwork required to record what has been agreed.
How can we help?
We have a large number of specially trained mediators at Russell-Cooke who are approved or accredited by the Family Mediation Council.
All discussions with our mediators are face-to-face (either in person, or remotely over Zoom) and confidential. During the joint sessions you can choose whether to sit in the same room as your partner, or in a separate room.
Other dispute resolution options
Mediation is just one of the many dispute resolution options which we can help you with. The others we offer are Early Neutral Evaluation and Private Financial Dispute Resolution, Family Arbitration and Collaborative Law.
Ranked in Tier 1 for family mediation by The Legal 500 (2022), our "broad and experienced team" is "one of the best if not the best in terms of efficiency and reliability." Our experts are "efficient, cost-effective and highly knowledgeable."
Charges are usually based on mediators' hourly rates, plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.
Typically the costs are shared equally between the couple mediating or such other arrangement as is agreed between the mediator and the couple at the first mediation session during the mediation process.
We would be pleased to discuss your requirements free of charge and tailor a costs proposal accordingly.
Resolution (formerly known as the Solicitors Family Law Association) is an association of family solicitors committed to promoting a non-confrontational approach to conflict resolution.resolution.org.uk
Relate – advice about relationship difficulties
Relate is working to promote health, respect and justice in couple and family relationships. As the country’s largest provider of relationship support, every year we help 150,000 people of all ages at a national network of 77 Centres working at 600 locations as well as by phone, online and via SMS text. Our services include relationship counselling for individuals and couples; family counselling; counselling for children and young people; and sex therapy. We also provide friendly and informal workshops for people at important life stages. Relate campaigns to see relationship support for children, adults and families at the heart of the social justice agenda. We are also the lead agency of the Kids in the Middle coalition, a group of national charities and agony aunts campaigning for better services for separating parents and their children.relate.org.uk/home/index.html