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Family mediation can help any family in the process of divorcing or separating.

For people who are divorcing or separating discussions can include:

  • How assets will be divided
  • What happens to the family home
  • Where and how often the children will spend time with each parent
  • Their future schooling and social activities, so that you as parents can put in place a full parenting plan now you have separated
  • Support payments to be made
  • And how children will keep in touch with their extended family and grandparents.

With the help of a mediator, the agenda can be anything you both agree to discuss and mediate.

It is common that you will have different issues that you consider to be the priority, but the mediator will make sure that everyone has the opportunity to discuss their concerns, and that a fair and proper amount of time is given to each person’s priorities.

In this way you will be able to work through all the issues that are affecting your life now you have separated and find common and agreed solutions to the problems.

It may seem like an impossible task to reach any agreement with your ex, but in mediation we have a very high level of success and mediators are familiar and trained to help you address each issue in turn.

Family mediators help you to focus on the future, so discussions will involve looking for practical actions to be taken to help you achieve settlement.

We understand it is an emotional time for all concerned, but by helping you focus on the future and working towards agreed outcomes we will see you through what seems like an impossible task.

The mediator won’t dwell on past issues. And they won’t try to allocate blame or guilt or pass judgement.

For grandparents, mediation can help restore contact to grandchildren and improve relationships with your ex in laws so that the children can continue to benefit from those cherished relationships.

It can be a challenge if your ex doesn’t want to try mediation to find a settlement when you’re separating. 

It’s difficult in the heat of a conflict  to think about trying to negotiate together to get things sorted. 

It can seem easier to try to trigger a legal battle that is ultimately actually going to be far more expensive, more stressful and take much, much longer. But mediation can only work when both people agree to attend.  

If your expartner won’t initially agree to mediate you can try asking them to attend an appointment on their own to start with. This can help avoid the tensions of  facing each other. Your ex can then find out how it all works and make an informed decision about if it is right for them because they’ll have more information. 

Most people are naturally quite anxious before they start mediation, but the huge majority of those who do go ahead and try it are greatly relieved that they did. They are often also surprised at the way they were able to finally make agreements and decisions on things that had previously felt it would be impossible to sort. 

Family mediation does not focus on the emotional upset that separation causes, although experience shows that resolving some of the key issues can help ease stress and anxiety surrounding a break-up.

Family mediation is not about trying to keep couples together but helping them move on to the next stages of their lives.  

The Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP) is designed to help you learn more about the challenges of post-separation parenting. The SPIP provides advice and guidance about how best to help yourself and help your children in your situation.

You can read more about the SPIP using this link

You can find your nearest SPIP provider on the Cafcass website

You may have heard about the MIAM. Before applying to court for a decision on finances or parenting, the law requires most people to attend a MIAM with an accredited mediator. This is short for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting.

It is expected that most people experiencing divorce or separation will take responsibility for their post-separation life.

After all, the families are the experts in their own lives. So the family court expects to be the last resort after all other attempts to settle have failed.  

The MIAM gives you an opportunity to find out what mediation is about. You can find out if it is suitable for you and your circumstances. In the MIAM you will look at the issues you have to consider to achieve divorce or separation. And you will be able to assess the situation before taking part in full mediation. 

However, undertaking full family mediation is voluntary.

Our mediators will help you proceed with mediation in the most comfortable way for you and your circumstances. However, if it goes ahead both people do need to agree to attend. But in some cases it is possible to make an arrangement whereby both people use separate rooms during family mediation.

 

*The law makes a small number of exceptions to this rule, for example where domestic violence has occurred or in cases of bankruptcy. 

Once you have decided to go ahead with family mediation, contact us.

Then we will quickly begin arranging an appointment for you with one of our expert family mediators.  

Some family mediation cases are eligible for funding from Legal Aid.

Here are some examples of cases the Legal Aid Agency would consider eligible: 

  • You’re getting divorced and therefore need to sort out financial arrangements.
  • Child arrangements have broken down, and so you are not seeing your children.
  • Any dispute following family breakdown that may end up in court.

Read full details and see what to do next to get legally aided family mediation here.

At your initial family mediation appointment (the MIAM) you can ask about legal aid for mediation.

They mediator will discuss what issues need resolving. Some family mediation cases are eligible for Legal Aid. But others are not. Examples of cases the Legal Aid Agency would consider eligible are: 

  • You are getting divorced and need to sort out money.
  • Child arrangements have broken down and you are not seeing your children.
  • Any dispute following family breakdown that may end up in court.

Click here to book an appointment to see an expert mediator

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