Family mediation is a way for couples, who disagree or where a dispute has arisen, to try and find agreement through a specially trained and experience third party.
We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions below. If you would like more in depth information, links are provided to our Help Centre.
A MIAM or Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting allows your Family Mediator to learn more about your dispute or disagreement. They will then fully explain the mediation process and the various outcomes that may result. It is a private and confidential meeting.
If you are planning to make an application to the courts for either a child arrangement order or a financial order (as part of your divorce or separation), it is mandatory that you attend a MIAM.
If you are confident your Ex will not engage in mediation and you want the courts to consider your application, YOU MUST ATTEND A MIAM. The Family Courts will reject your application if has not been signed by an accredited Family Mediator.
We offer Online Mediation for those who’s Ex’s will not mediate. Appointments are available on the same day.
This often occurs. Where your Ex refuses or ignores the invitation, all is not lost. We will always try and encourage people to participate in mediation, as it is an extremely effective way of reaching agreement, without the need to go to court. If your Ex won’t mediate, we can sign the court forms to allow you to make an application for a judge to hear your case.
A C100 form is the document you must complete to make an application (under section 8 of the Children Act 1989) for child arrangements. It is also used to apply for prohibitive steps orders (e.g. so your Ex cannot take the children overseas) and a specific order, similar to the prohibitive steps order.
If your dispute is about child arrangements, it MUST be signed by an accredited Family Mediator. The courts will reject all unsigned applications.
A MIAM normally lasts between 45 minutes and an hour.
The meeting can be held in one of many locations throughout the Midlands. Each location has its own local Family Mediator. You will not normally need to travel more than 20 minutes to find your local centre.
If travel is difficult or you want to start the process quickly, you can request an Online MIAM and this can normally be scheduled within a few hours and often on the same day.
Very little. If you plan to invite your Ex to mediate, then you will need to provide contact details for them. We prefer to post invitations as there is more chance they will see and read the information we send but we can contact them via email or by telephone.
No problem. We offer flexible appointments between 9.00am and 10.00pm weekdays and by special arrangements at the weekend.
We can also offer you an Online MIAM so that there is no need to travel.
Yes. Our online service helps hundreds of people to mediate no matter where you are in the country or the world.
Yes. Whilst mediating in the same room is the most effective way for finding a resolution, you can opt for Shuttle Mediation, where each party is in a different room or you can choose Online Mediation and this is done from the comfort of your own home or office.
Once we have sent the invitation to your Ex, we ask them to contact us within 14 days. As soon as they make contact with us, you will receive a call or email informing you whether they are willing to mediate or not. In some cases, you may have to wait until the end of the 14 days before moving to the next stage.
In some cases yes. If you are on a low income and claim certain benefits, you may be eligible for Legal Aid (funded by the Government). We can assess whether you may be eligible and help you find a service. We do not currently offer Legal Aid.
Many of our clients find themselves in this position. If your Ex is eligible to receive Legal Aid, you may have to convince them to find a service offering this funding as you will get some of your costs paid for too. For many, this is just not possible as the relationship has broken down or they are not in contact with you.
It is likely that your Ex is happy with the current situation and do not see the need to mediate but this does not help you. You may have to begin the process through a private service, such as ours. If we can then convince them that mediation is the best option, we will help them to find a local Legal Aid mediator. You will then be invited to mediate and some of your costs will be covered.
No. Mediation is a voluntary process and therefore neither party is obliged to participate or continue (if it has already started). If your Ex refuses to mediate or ignores the invitation, then you can request the necessary court forms to be signed-off by your Family Mediator.
Your mediator will help both of you to have a constructive discussion about the issues to have with each other. The skill of a mediator is keep discussions focussed on the future rather than dwelling in the past. They will help remove emotion and ensure each party conducts themselves appropriately. Meeting may be stopped if bad language or personal criticisms are made and of course, should either party feel threatened, they can stop the meeting immediately.
Your mediator will make sure you meet in a friendly and non-threatening environment.
The joint mediation meeting is normally scheduled for 90 minutes and very often where progress is being made, this will be extended up to 2 hours. Your mediator will try and conclude your mediation as quickly as possible and attempt to avoid the need for further meetings, however in some cases, it may be necessary to schedule further sessions.
If you want a face-to-face mediation, it is likely one of you will have to travel a little further. Very often, because the party who initially makes contact with us first agrees to travel. The alternative to this is Online Mediation where there is no need to travel anywhere.
The whole mediation process can be conducted online.
For separated parents, the added stress of not being able to see their children during Coronavirus lockdown periods can cause anxiety and conflict. We are receiving calls daily, asking what can be done when the other parent is refusing to allow the children to visit. The Government have issued guidelines and urges parents to consider the risks of moving children between homes in preventing further spread of the virulent disease, COVID-19. Read more here on our full blog article.