Family mediation is not necessarily the answer for everyone, but at times can be incredibly helpful for conflict resolution between relatives. Whether you are in the process of dissolving a civil partnership, getting a divorce or simply breaking up, there may need to be arrangements made with the other party or their family.
This may not always be easily arranged, which is when family mediation is recommended to ensure that any agreements made are legally binding and enforced.
This choice is ideal for those who wish to reach an agreement without having to go to court, therefore giving you more control over your situation and less conflict with the other party. Family mediation services can also accommodate you if any circumstances change, which is ideal if any children are involved.
How Does Family Mediation Work?
The role of the family mediator is to remain impartial about your situation and to provide you with necessary legal information such as divorce laws and custody rights. If you require additional legal aid, your personal solicitor can provide you with advice between any mediation sessions to help you feel better informed between negotiations.
During mediation meetings, an impartial mediator will be assigned to you and your relatives/partner to help resolve family issues. This often centres around issues such as divorce and separation. Other issues that may benefit from family mediation services include:
- Financial disputes in the family
- Dealing with housing issues, savings, pension and debts
- Parents’ rights with children
- Legal implications of divorce or breakup
- Inheritance dispute claims
- Family conflicts or disputes
- Child custody, residence and contact arrangements.
- Child maintenance payments
- Children keeping in contact with other family members
While you may decide to go to a mediation meeting separately from your ex, it is also possible to hold a joint meeting. However, this is entirely subject to the attendees’ personal situations.
If you decide to go to court with your case, a judge may expect you and your party to have considered mediation before applying to the court. However, if you are looking to formally end a civil partnership or marriage, you will usually be able to apply to the court without attending a hearing.
What is a MIAM?
A MIAM is the initial meeting you have with your mediator to discuss your situation and whether family mediation is necessary for you. Also known as a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting, it can only be conducted by a mediator who is Family Council Accredited (FMCA).
During a MIAM, your impartial mediator will also give you an average of how many sessions are required, as well as a breakdown of your fees.
Generally speaking, most family-related cases require a MIAM in order to take your case to court, although there are some exceptions to this rule.
How Much Does Family Mediation Cost?
The cost of family mediation can widely differ depending on the specific services that are required from the legal representative.
With most family mediation lawyers, it is possible to make an enquiry directly to their team, who will provide you with an accurate breakdown of the costs.
While some mediation practices charge on an hourly basis, others may charge by the session or per fixed price meeting.
In order to find a mediation service that best suits your budget, it is recommended to contact multiple firms as possible so that you can make a calculated judgement.
If you believe that you are unable to afford mediation, you may qualify to receive legal aid from the British government. This, however, will only be granted once you answer the questions on the Gov.uk website about the specifics of your legal issues and income.
Contact our family mediation solicitors today for more information on our range of mediation services at our Maidstone, Tenterden, Canterbury and London offices, or call us today on 01622 698000.