Using mediation as an alternative to going to court
- Mediation provides open discussions at your own pace, managed by a neutral mediator; they will provide guidance but you make the decisions.
- Members of our family law team are accredited mediators and collaborative lawyers, who can guide you whichever process you choose.
In mediation, you and your former partner sit around a table (or occasionally in separate rooms) to discuss matters with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator.
You decide the issues for discussion in mediation, which often focus on divorce and separation, financial issues and dealing with arrangements or disputes relating to children. The mediator helps to facilitate the process and guide the discussions, but the decisions about the outcomes are yours.
Mediation is a flexible and bespoke process which will move at your pace, with as many sessions as you require. It is completely voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time.
How do I start?
Once one of you has made contact with us, we will arrange individual initial appointments with each of you. We will send you an Agreement to Mediate and the Mediation Preliminary Information Form, before your individual appointments.
Our Resolution-accredited family law mediators offer a fixed price initial individual meeting to explain more about the mediation process and answer any questions you may have. If mediation is suitable and both of you wish to proceed, we’ll then arrange joint sessions.
How long will it last?
The initial individual meetings usually last about half an hour. They are typically followed by around four joint sessions of 1.5 , 2 hours each.
What is the mediator’s role?
The mediator will assist and guide you both towards your own resolution. The mediator does not decide the outcome, but helps you understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a solution that might work best for you and your family. Our Family mediators are trained by Resolution and are also solicitors at Moore Barlow.
What is the mediation process?
After signing the agreement to mediate, both of you will work with the mediator to:
- Explain your family situation
- Agree the issues you need to discuss
- Decide the priority of the issues
- Set timescales
- Clarify the issues in dispute
- Consider whether any other specialists might be able to help you
- Find the common ground
- Provide/obtain information i.e. details about any property you own, and your income and expenditure
- Look at the various options and reality test those options. When there are financial issues, you will need to consider what everyone in the family needs, especially the children
- Arrive at the option that best suits both of you, and work out the details of your proposals
Will I also need a solicitor?
You do not have to have a solicitor but we encourage you to take some legal advice alongside the process. Our mediators are able to provide you both with legal information, but not advice.
Mediation for parents
If you are parents applying for an order in relation to your children, the courts now require you to consider mediation. Mediation allows you to remain in control of any decisions affecting your child or children. You will need to arrange and attend a mediation information assessment meeting (referred to as a MIAM). You’ll also need to prove to the court that you’ve attended this meeting, as part of your application.
Where are the meetings and how much will they cost?
Mediation is available at all our offices in Southampton, Lymington, Richmond and the City of London. All offices can offer separate rooms if time apart is needed during the sessions.
For more information on costs and to arrange your initial fixed price individual meeting please call Sarah French on 023 8071 8878.