What is Family Mediation
Ashford Advice are now able to offer family mediation. This is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you work out arrangements for children and finances following separation, it is not marriage guidance.
- Is less stressful and far quicker than going to court, and cheaper than getting legal representation
- Helps you make arrangements over parenting, property and money
- Lets you keep more control of your family’s future, and helps you put your child’s interests first
- Helps you all move on quickly to the next stage of your lives
- Is a process which works, with agreement reached in over 70% of cases.
When you separate, it can be hard to talk to your ex-partner at all, let alone in a way that enables to you reach an agreement about what is best for your family.
Mediation can also be helpful when arrangements you’ve made before need to change, particularly as your children grow up.
Mediation helps you stay in control. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes.
The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and will explain what needs to happen to make an agreement between you legally binding.
FMC Registered Mediators have helped hundreds of thousands of families to agree on financial arrangements after separation, and to find a way to parent their children co-operatively after separation.
The process is less stressful and significantly quicker than going to court, and can save you money. Legal aid is available if you are financially eligible.
Mediators work with separating couples in ways that are flexible and tailor-made for your situation. You do not have to be in the same space as your ex if you or the mediator decides that working with you in separate spaces would be preferable.
At the first meeting (often known as a MIAM), the mediator will let you know if they think you may qualify for legal aid. Mediators who have a contract to provide Legal Aid will be able to carry out a formal assessment
If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get legal aid to help pay for one or more of:
- The Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
- Mediation sessions
- Legal help in support for mediation
If your case isn’t suitable for mediation, in some circumstances you might get legal aid for other sorts of legal help.
Legal aid may be available to one or both of you, and each person will be assessed separately. Even if only one person can get legal aid, the fee for the MIAM and the cost of the first full mediation session will be covered for both people.
FMC Registered Mediators can provide general legal information: for example by telling you what the law says about financial settlements on divorce in general terms, but they cannot provide legal advice by telling you what that general laws means for you personally, in your particular circumstances.
Legal advice may be helpful for:
- making a decision on any legal matter connected with your mediation discussions
- considering any proposed agreement reached through mediation
- turning the written agreement into a legally binding document, such as a consent order
- supporting you in preparing divorce papers for the court, if necessary
You can get legal advice from a solicitor. You can arrange this at any point in the process. It’s important to make sure that the solicitor you choose specialises in family law and follows the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol – you can check this when making your first enquiries.
You may be concerned about the cost of legal fees. If you’re talking to your ex about your issues, and working together to reach agreement through mediation, there is much less need for a solicitor’s time. This means that legal fees can be kept as low as possible.
You can make an appointment for a fixed fee Mediation and Assessment Meeting with our FMC trained mediator by calling 01233 626185