There are two main types of family mediation in general. Mediation relating to divorce, which includes agreeing a financial settlement and child living and more general child arrangements or contact issues. It has become increasingly evident, that people are now very aware of family mediation. Admittedly, the only time you may come across family mediation is when there is a dispute or disagreement about finances or children. Mediation ticks all the boxes.
Normally, the first port of call for a divorce is with a family lawyer. They will often advise, in matters of divorce that it could cost several thousand, or more. They will want a retainer to begin working for you. Choosing this route may end up in having to see a mediator, if for no other reason than to have your court application signed. Therefore, the prudent approach is to approach and engage a family mediator first. You may still need a family lawyer, but you will be saving money immediately.
What Goes Into The Costs of a Mediator?
First of all, family mediators tend to charge on a pay-as-you-go basis and their fees are often fixed and include administration and correspondence, whereas a lawyer, will often charge per letter, email, telephone call, etc.
The process is simple too. Your family mediator will want to know some of the background to your situation and will wish to meet with you and your ex-partner. This way not only are they able to get a balanced view, but they can also discuss the outcomes both of you wish for. If the family mediator feels as though both parties are too far away in terms of what they will settle for, then they may suggest other ways of resolving the impasse and this may include court. Assuming the issues are suitable, following meetings, known as MIAMs, are completed with both parties, a mediator will then invite you to a joint mediation meeting and therefore the negotiations and discussions begin.
As a rule of thumb, mediations about child arrangements often only need one joint meeting and two is not unheard of. More complex mediations that involve finance and children can take two to three meetings. If you consider divorce mediation where there are a number of assets as well as children, then two to three sessions are the maximum. Considering the pay-as-you-go service offered by most family mediators, then it is easy to calculate the total costs.
At the conclusion of a mediation, the family mediator will often draft a memorandum of understanding or summary of agreements and where finances are involved, an open statement of financial information report. Again, these are normally charged for by the hour and your mediator will indicate how long it will take to complete.
What do Mediators charge?
Well, it’s probably easier to ask how do they charge? Most charge on the basis of meetings and report writing. Fees vary between £90-120 per hour per person as compared to lawyers who often charge a minimum of £250 per hour. A one meeting mediation with a successful outcome may cost around £300 each increasing by about £150 per additional joint meeting. So, even a two meeting mediation, will cost less than £500 each.
Contact Us for Family Mediation Services
Jeremy Howells, experienced family mediator and practice director for FMACS explains the application process and gives a fascinating insight into his thought process behind an application.
For more information about the Family Mediation & Counselling Service and our online family mediation appointments, please get in touch with us on 0330 113 0005 or you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.