Mediation provides a way to agree your finances or arrangements for children when you separate whether you have been married or cohabiting.
Going to court is time-consuming and expensive. Mediation is being recommended more and more frequently as an alternative. It is considered to be one of the most amicable and cost-effective ways to agree on the issues surrounding separation.
A lawyer mediator can help you structure your discussions and where appropriate provide legal information about the process. This allows you to ask questions together and work out the best way forward.
Many couples who are separating want to obtain information together; as lawyer mediators we can provide this.
‘Many clients resolve their arrangements without going to court with high quality input at the right time together with guidance on structuring discussions which helps couples to move on and work arrangements out between them. Significantly, they do this with reduced stress and upset. This is because mediation can help them talk at an earlier stage and deal with things more amicably.’ Founder of Aurora, Nicolette Zarka
Mediation between separating couples can work in several ways:
Joint Mediation – Both parties attend the same mediation session with the same mediator. We recommend joint mediation where possible as it is the most cost effective solution and normally produces quickest resolution
Shuttle Mediation - When communication has broken down, both parties attend a mediation session at the same time but sit in separate rooms with the mediator ‘shuttling’ between them.
Co-mediation – Both parties attend mediation sessions with two mediators being present
It is important to choose the solution that would work best for you, if you would like to discuss the options further, do call or email us.
We normally set up an initial appointment also known as a MIAMs (Mediation information and assessment meeting). These can be held together or separately. We take basic background information from you at the meeting, work out what you would like to discuss and give you information abut mediation and other ways of resolving arrangements on separation. You can then decide whether or not to proceed.
Initial meeting (– also known as a ‘Miams’ meeting) - We can arrange an initial appointment with you separately or together. In the first meeting we will discuss the process of mediation, alternative ways of reaching agreement and how mediation would work in your situation.
In the initial meeting we will discuss whether mediation is the right solution for both of you. It is important to realize that mediation is not for everyone, and if we feel that mediation is not the best solution for you, we will advise you accordingly.
During the meeting, we would set goals for the mediation and if you wished to proceed the Agreement to Mediate is signed.
Mediation meetings - A series of mediation meetings will follow. The number of meetings will depend on the number of issues you need to negotiate and the degree to which you are willing to compromise.
The frequency of appointments depends on the time you both need between sessions to think, check out options and gather information. The mediator will often ask you to complete tasks between mediation sessions to speed the process.
Resolution - When your issues are resolved the mediator will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding, which summarizes the proposals made. The mediator will recommend that you take the proposals to your solicitor.
There is a fee of £90 per person for an initial joint or sole meeting (MIAMs). We are happy to speak to you on the telephone initially free of charge to discuss the best ways of setting up an appointment for you both.
Subsequent meetings are charged at £110 per person per hour plus VAT.
We now offer Legal aid in our Hitchin and Milton Keynes offices only for those eligible for public funding. Please call us if you would like to find out about eligibility.
We run family mediation sessions in towns throughout Hertfordshire Hitchin (head office), Harpenden, Letchworth (Works Road, Letchworth Hertfordshire SG6 1GJ), St Albans (Victoria Square, St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3TF and Dunstable Road ), Hatfield (2 Titan Court, 3 Bishop Square, Hatfield AL10 9 NA), Watford (Clarendon Road, Watford Hertfordshire WD17 1DS), Welwyn Garden City (2 Falcon Gate, Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL7 1TW) Buckinghamshire Aylesbury (Gatehouse way, Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP19 8DB and Smeaton Close, Aylesbury Buckinghamshire), Milton Keynes (Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire MK9 2BE) Bedfordshire Bedford (Technology House, 239 Ampthill Road, Bedford Bedfordshire MK42 9QQ), Luton (960 Capability Green Luton LU1 3PE) North London Finchley and Harlow (Harlow Business Park, Harlow Essex, CM19 5QE)