Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Below you can find some answers to our most commonly asked questions.

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is designed to help families reach agreements about arrangements that need to be made for the future.

In Family Mediation you can negotiate arrangements that need to be made for the future, with the help of one or two neutral third parties – the mediator or mediators.

Mediation can help you reach an agreement on difficult decisions such as where your children will live and arrangements for spending time with other family members. Mediation can also help with decisions on finance, property and other practical matter

Who can use mediation?

Anyone who wants to settle a dispute and/or make plans for the future.

What is a MIAM?

A MIAM or Mediation Information Assessment Meeting is a meeting with a specially qualified family mediator, who will explain to you the alternatives to the court process. Most couples in England and Wales who want to use the court process to resolve any questions about children or money have to show that they have attended a MIAM before they can apply for a court order.

At your MIAM you will meet with a qualified family mediator. At this meeting you will be able to discuss your personal situation on a confidential basis. The mediator will provide information about your options and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The mediator will also ask questions, and make an assessment to decide whether or not mediation is a suitable way forward for you.

Why choose Family Mediation?

Mediation is voluntary and confidential. It’s quick, informal, flexible and has a high rate of success.

The Mediator will never take sides and will not tell you what arrangements to make.

Mediation is cheaper than any other alternative dispute resolution process.

Mediation allows you to create a completely flexible and bespoke set of proposals, tailored to fit your particular situation.

 

Does Family Mediation work?

Yes a high percentage of our clients reach agreements.

How much does it cost?

Mediation Associates has a contract with Legal Aid agency to provide legal aid. If you qualify for Legal Aid, the cost of mediation is covered by the Legal Aid agency.

We will discuss our costs with you before we meet you for the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Our Family Mediation fees will also be set out in the Agreement to Mediate. Mediation is significantly cheaper than seeking to resolve disputes with legal representatives

To discuss family mediation costs do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid may be available to one or both of you and each person will be assessed separately. Even if only one person can get legal aid both will have the fee for the MIAM and the cost of the first full mediation session covered. To find out more information please contact us.

When can a referral be made?

Mediation can take place at any time. If you are not sure if you can make a referral please contact us.

Can my children be involved?

Involving children can be very useful if the right preparation is done. The government has said that it believes all children above the age of 10 should have an opportunity to see a mediator if their parents are using mediation to make decisions about them.

There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not it is appropriate for a child to be involved directly. You can discuss this with your mediator.

Direct consultation with a child means the child talking face to face with the mediator separately on the basis that what they say is completely confidential from anyone else including their parents. Very often the child does have something that they want the mediator to tell their parents, and that they would like the parents to take into consideration when making their decision. Strictly with the child’s permission, the mediator will then bring the child’s voice into the mediation.

These mediators have attended specialist courses to equip them with the necessary skills to consider whether direct consultation with a child is appropriate.

Is it confidential?

Everything discussed in Family Mediation is confidential unless a criminal activity is being committed or if there is someone at risk of harm.

How long does it take?

Family Mediation normally takes place over several weeks to months depending on the circumstance of the case. 

Is it legally binding?

No. Mediation is an informal process. If you have reached an agreement in mediation and you want your agreement to be legally binding, you can ask the Court to put your agreement into a Court Order.

Why choose Mediation Associates?

All mediators at Mediation Associates are FMCA accredited (the highest level of family mediation accreditation), DBS checked and have extensive experience in working with families.  Each mediation is tailored to meet the individual’s needs.

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