Frequently Asked QuestionsCall: 01462 429735
Do we have to go to family mediation if we want to resolve arrangements for children and finance on separation or divorce?
No. Family mediation is voluntary. There are other ways of resolving financial and children arrangements on separation or divorce. However family mediation is recommended by judges and magistrates as a process you may wish to take before resorting to litigation.Family Mediation is often considered to be the most amicable and cost effective way of separating finances and resolving arrangements for children.
Do we get advice from the mediator ?
No. Family mediators will ask you both questions and help you structure your discussions. However mediators can give information. This is not a substitute for legal advice which will normally be recommended at some stage in the process.
What happens if we reach an agreement about the finances and children?
Normally a Memorandum of Understanding will be drawn up by your family mediator. This document will reflect your proposals. Agreements reached in mediation are not binding. Parties normally then ask their solicitors to incorporate the proposals reached into a binding agreement.
Is mediation legally binding?
No. Family mediation is confidential and without prejudice: nothing said in the mediation is admissible as evidence in court except factual for example financial information. When couples have reached an agreement we recommend they go to their solicitor to make the agreement legally binding.
Can we come to mediation at separate times?
We can see you for your first meeting at separate times. Generally it is more effective for you attend the first meeting together. This will allow you to decide together if family mediation is for you, agree how to complete any forms for subsequent sessions and arrange a further appointment.
Sometimes people come along for the first meeting separately. That may happen if they have different commitments.
Subsequent sessions will be joint. If communication has broken down completely we can have mediation meetings in separate rooms. This is known as “shuttle” mediation. We can discuss this option with you when we meet.
How many mediation meetings will we need to have?
This depends on the type of mediation. Mediation involving both children and finances take 3 to 5 sessions on average. Mediation involving just children or finances on divorce or separation normally take fewer meetings. Where mediation involves complex assets the mediation can take longer.
In children mediation sometimes people return after a few months to discuss their progress.
What happens in the mediation?
There will be an initial meeting where we discuss the process with you and agree that mediation is the correct process for you. There will then be a series of mediation sessions before a resolution is reached. Click this link for more information.
How long are mediation sessions?
The initial meeting normally lasts about 40 minutes to one hour. We will thoroughly discuss the process with you. The following family mediation meetings normally last one and a half to two hours.
What if one of us does not want to come to family mediation?
In order for family mediation to work both parties need to attend sessions, either together or separately. We can send a form to the referring solicitor (or to you direct) known as an "FM1" or a "form A" or "C 100 certificate" if mediation does not proceed or breaks down. This means that if court proceedings are issued the court will know that mediation was attempted . You can return to mediation in the future should you both wish to do so. The certificate lasts for 4 months. Receiving the certificate does not mean you have to go to court but it is normally needed before court proceedings are issued. Please remember you need to speak to a family law solicitor if you need advice about any applications and forms. The mediator does not advise.
Can children be involved in the mediation?
Yes. If both parents agree. Whether or not it is beneficial to consult a child in mediation will depend on many factors and would be thoroughly discussed beforehand.
At Aurora family mediation we have mediators who are approved to see children. The mediator can chat with the child about the child’s thoughts and feelings. This will allow the child to provide their opinions to a neutral person. This can be particularly helpful if a child is saying different things to each parent.
It would not be the child who then makes the decisions. The mediator would advise the parents of the child’s feelings and both parents would use information to make their own decision about the best way forward.
Can we talk about pensions and businesses in mediation?
Yes. We will look at your assets and explore the division of any relevant investments. We can give you general information. We can also bring in financial experts such as specially trained IFAs and accountants. They can work through these assets with you both in the meeting if needed. People can also choose to involve their own solicitors or experts.
What is a MIAMS meeting?
A MIAMs is an Mediation Initial Information and Assessment Meeting. In this meeting we discuss how mediation would work as well as other ways of reaching agreement. This allows you to decide if mediation is the way you wish to proceed. We will also prepare for your first mediation session if you would choose to proceed.
A MIAMs meeting is normally an hour long and costs £90 per person including VAT whether held jointly or separately.