So what is ‘family mediation’?

In essence family mediation is where an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your former partner to work out an agreement for your futures.  This will include issues such as arrangements for your children including maintenance payments, what to do about existing debts, your property (if you have one) savings and other financial matters.

Family mediation with WYFMS

We focus on allowing you both to sort out the practical issues of relationship breakdown…

…reaching agreements that are acceptable to both of you and will allow each of you to move on with your life.

Mediation empowers you both to remain in control over these decisions.  No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and explain how you can make an agreement legally binding.

Alternatively, if you go to court, it is the judge who decides for you and you must stick to their decision even if one or both of you feel unhappy about them.

You may be considering using family mediation because you’re aware of the benefits of making your own arrangements – or you may have been advised by the Courts to use mediation to sort things out.
The following information is designed to tell you more about what will happen in mediation.

What happens in mediation?

We usually see each of you separately (either face to face or online) to start with so that you both have the same opportunity to talk through your issues with the mediator, and the mediator can find out about your particular situation and concerns. (We can offer a joint appointment if both of you prefer this.)

After that, if you’re both agreeable and if we feel that mediation is right for the two of you, you will be asked to attend one or more appointments together, either in person or online.

Following mediation we will write up the agreements you reach into a formal document and this can become the basis of a court order if you feel you may need one, for example in financial and property matters.

The Benefits of Mediation

  • A constructive approach, avoiding lengthy and costly legal action
  • A chance to iron out misunderstandings and clarify issues
  • Improved communication between the two of you
  • An opportunity to sort things out in a non-intimidating atmosphere
  • A way of reducing the stress and anxiety that can come with the end of a relationship
  • A means of making your own decisions

Sorting things out through mediation is less costly than going through the courts in both financial and emotional terms.

The cost of litigation

Mediation is a much less expensive option than litigation. Where a case has to go to Court, costs can quickly rise to many thousands of pounds – and will take much longer to settle.

It is estimated that solicitors’ costs in relation to negotiating between the two of you and dealing with court proceedings can be:

  • in respect of arrangements for children, around £1500 to £3000
  • for property and financial issues, between £3000 and £6000

Average length of time to resolve issues through:

  • Mediation – 4 months
  • The courts – 15 months

Can I skip mediation and go direct to court?

If you are considering going direct to court to resolve such matters, before an application can be made to court, you are required to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting, or ‘MIAM’ for short. The aim of a MIAM is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, and thereby avoid the court process.

If mediation is deemed unsuitable for your circumstances then you will be provided with the requisite document to use to access court proceedings.

Referring Yourself

If you are ready to take the first step towards family mediation please complete our Self Referral form:

Referral form