For separated or separating couples at any point in the separation process.
What is Mediation?
Family mediation is a way of resolving disputes which arise before, during or after separation or divorce. It can also be helpful to avoid problems arising.
Family mediation provides a safe environment, helping to reduce hostility and improve the chances of long-term positive communication. The family mediator does not advise people what to do, give them legal advice, take sides or provide counselling.
Mediators are now required to consider meeting with the children directly to ensure their views are included in the mediation. This can only happen when both parents consent.
As our name suggests, we at Children 1st Mediation consider the children as a hugely important part of the process, considering their needs is key. We will endeavour to work with the parents to consider the needs and views of the children and involve them directly in the mediation process where possible.
What happens in Mediation?
The mediator will arrange to see you both separately for the initial information meeting to find out how best to help in your situation. If both parties are willing to try mediation the mediator will then arrange the first mediation meeting.
Most separated parents benefit from taking a stepping stone approach to building or rebuilding the arrangements for children and on average most parents need between 1 and 2 mediation sessions over time.
Face to Face or Online Mediation?
Mediation is always best face to face, but we understand that this is not always possible, particularly with the overriding Covid considerations. With this is mind we are conducting most of our mediation meetings online, typically by Zoom, although What’s app and Facetime are also available in some cases. There are still some options for face-to-face mediation where the need arises.
For online mediation all you’ll need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, a reliable Internet connection and somewhere private to meet. We take the stress out of this for you by organising the meeting and sending you the link to simply click. We can offer shuttle mediation in some circumstances.
We would normally see clients face to face at one of our local offices, but as a result of covid there are currently a temporarily limited number of face-to-face appointments in our Plymouth offices. This means we can see clients from across England and Wales.
A mediation session would normally last up to 1hr and typically our clients would see their mediator for 2-3 sessions.
Our team of professionally qualified Family Mediators have over 80 years collective experience in mediation, helping you and your partner through this stressful time.
We are registered with the Family Mediation Council; College of Mediators and the Family Mediation Association and all of our mediators carry the FMCA qualification. These means that they have had to undergo a huge amount of training and deliver mediation sessions to agreed and regulated standards.
What happens on the day?
Our Mediators we understand that it is not an easy meeting and some of the feelings that you might be going through, for example it is normal for you to feel worried or anxious about what might happen.
The family mediation process involves you working together with the mediator. They will make sure that you each have the chance to put across your point of view and the things that you wish to discuss.
The mediator will help you to hear from one another about the key issues and then explore the options with you both. The mediator will assist you in checking how practical your proposals are, guiding you to reach acceptable and workable solutions that meet your children’s needs. Any outcome you reach is entirely under your control.
Any solutions reach in the mediation are written up into a summary of the proposals, sometimes called a Memorandum of understanding or MOU.
What does Mediation cost?
Depending on the experience of the Mediator the fees range from;
All fees are per person and inclusive of VAT
What Happens after Mediation?
For Children only cases the mediator will upon request provide a summary letter detailing any agreements reached. If you require a parenting plan drafted this will be discussed with you at the mediation appointment.
Following the last financial cases the Mediator will produce an open financial statement that will be used as your financial disclosure in any divorce proceedings. This document is open and will need to be signed by each of you. The Mediator will also draft a Memorandum of Understanding or Summary letter depending on your needs, setting out any proposals/agreements reached during the mediation
If we produce a Summary letter, Open Financial Statement, Outcome Statement, Summary letter or Memorandum of Understanding at the end of a session or upon conclusion of your mediation the is a cost. Each document is charged at £120 / hr (inc VAT) which is shared between the parties. For financial cases involving property and pensions you can expect between 2-4hrs each at the end of the mediation process if you require an OFS and MOU.
Who can Refer?
Anyone can refer themselves to mediation. You do not have to see a solicitor first. We aim to have set up the first intake and assessment meeting within 5 working days of receiving the referral.