Family Mediation Gloucester
We have family mediation centres across Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. If you would like to find out where your nearest centre is please Contact us on 01452 933 595 for more information.
What is family mediation Gloucester?
Mediation offers you and your ex partner a safe neutral environment, where mediators can help you to figure out what happens after separation or divorce.
You may both have concerns around arrangements for the children, finances, property and assets. This process is also suitable for stepfamilies, couples without children, grandparents or teenagers.
How family mediators can help you
Our Gloucester family mediators work with you to find solutions that feel fair to you. Family mediation is not about getting you back with your ex but if both you and your ex partner feel this is the way forward, then we would assist you with this. You don’t need to be married to access family mediation, you can be an unmarried couple, already separated or divorced.
Mediation is useful as it can be used at any stage through your child’s life, for example if you go to court and an arrangement is made for your child at age 6, this arrangement may not work when your child is 12. With mediation you can come back and update the agreement if it is suitable.
If you go to court to sort out your issues, the judge will make the decisions, taking away the control from you as parents. Some people feel that by going to court one parent may win, however in some instances judges can make decisions that neither party feel is best for them. Both of you would have to stick to these decisions whether or not you are happy about them. Family mediation however allows you to be confident in the agreement as you make the choices.
Splitting up with your ex partner can be extremely difficult. To support this difficult process, our mediators are highly experienced, very caring and practical ensuring the outcomes are realistic.
Above all else although you and your ex partner are no longer together, you are still and always will be parents. We believe you are the best people to decide what is right for your children’s future.
There are many issues that can be discussed in mediation:
In regards to children – Who the children live with, who has them over the school holidays, child maintenance, and communication between parents.
When children are not the focus of mediation – division of assets, property and pensions.
The Gloucester family mediation process
The first step in family mediation is for you to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This meeting will be for you only to attend, unless you are bringing some moral support with you. You would be able to ask the mediator any questions you may have about the process, how it can help your situation and also the types of things splitting couples bring to mediation. It is also about you and the mediator generating trust and rapport between you so that you feel you can be open and honest. At the end of your MIAM you and the mediator will discuss whether mediation is the right option for you to engage in. The MIAM usually lasts no more than 1 hour. To book your MIAM please contact us on 01452 933 595.
If you decide this is the right process the mediator will then contact your ex partner to attend their own MIAM. Once the mediator has seen you and your ex partner separately they will then arrange a time for a joint session to take place. Usually in the joint sessions only you and your ex partner would be present. In the cases of large family disputes multiple family members would be present. The main aim of these discussions is for you and your ex partner to find common ground in order for you to move forward with the best interests for your children. You and your ex partner can express how you feel and solutions you think may work. The mediator is there to make sure your suggestions are in the best interests for the child/children involved.
The joint sessions usually last no more than one and half hours. There are lots of things to talk about when people are in a dispute and there is no rush for these things to be agreed straight away. Family mediation can continue for as many weeks or months as you need it, to ensure we reach an agreement on as many issues as possible.
If you feel you can’t be in the same room as your ex for whatever reason, there is the option of shuttle mediation. Shuttle mediation is when you and your ex partner are in separate rooms and the mediator will go from one room to the next. If you would like to know more about this type of mediation please ask the mediator when you enquire.
Family mediation may not be the right process for you, which you and your mediator will discuss throughout the process. Mediation is not legal advice, nor is it counselling. We can provide information but we never give advice.
In longer more complex disputes there may be two mediators, this is known as co-mediation. This is a common structure when there are multiple family members involved in the dispute.
Once the joint mediation sessions have concluded, the mediator, upon your instruction, will send you and your ex partner a memorandum of understanding. This will document the proposals you and your ex partner have reached in family mediation. Once you have this document you are able to take it to a solicitor to make it legally binding between you and your ex partner.
Family Mediation Costs
For most people family mediation comes with a cost. To read more about our costs please visit our fees page and scroll down to family mediation. If you are unsure or confused about the pricing please contact us and one of our family mediators will talk you through them.
If you are unemployed and receiving certain benefits you may be entitled to legal aid. Legal aid can cover the cost of family mediation. There is a rigorous test for legal aid and the mediator will carry out this assessment for you.
We will discuss the cost of mediation with you before it takes place and can provide an estimate of the costs overall taking into account your current situation. The average amount of sessions it takes to complete mediation is 2-3, however some people depending on the complexity of their situation and their willingness, may need more or less sessions.
The cost of taking part in mediation can be significantly lower than engaging solicitors to collect the information and negotiate for you. The average cost per client for mediation was £675 compared to £2,823 for cases going to court. This in an average cost saving of £2,148.
Benefits of Centre for Resolutions family mediation
There are many benefits to utilising Gloucester’s Family Mediation Service:
- You are more in control of the outcome than the judge deciding in court
- It is less stressful and inflammatory than going to court
- You can revisit mediation if you need to amend your agreement for example your child is attending an after school club
- Family mediation keeps the child/children at the forefront of your mind when making an agreement
- Courts are less likely to accept your application to court if mediation hasn’t been considered
- It is cheaper than engaging legal proceedings and solicitors
- You are able to consider options that may not be explored in court
- The process is completely voluntary
- Mediators are completely impartial and are therefore able to help you reflect on your situation without being emotionally involved.
Questions that people ask our Gloucester mediators
‘‘What happens if my ex–partner breaks the agreement we made in mediation?’’
There are two options if this was to happen. One you can re visit mediation to re-negotiate the agreement. It may be that circumstances have changed and this needs to be reflected in the agreement. The second thing you can do is you can make an application to the court. As family mediators we are huge advocates of the benefits of family mediation and this would be the quickest and cheapest way or revisiting the agreement.
Keynote – There is no way you can force your ex partner to see your children. As much as this will be upsetting for you and the children it is not illegal and therefore there are limits as to what mediation and the courts can and can’t enforce.
‘‘Am I entitled to legal aid as I only work a very small amount of hours’’
There is a possibility that you may be eligible although the legal aid limits are very strict. Other things are taken into account when a legal aid assessment is completed.
- Any money that is incoming with the exception of DLA/PIP
In order for the mediator to be fully accurate about your legal aid entitlement you need to be full and frank about the money you have incoming and outgoing.
‘‘How does mediation work in terms of the court process?’’
Although we are not a court process you can make your mediation agreement legally biding. Some ex partners do decide that they want to make an application to the court after mediation. In our experience in most family mediation cases ex partners come to agreements without the need for court.
If you do decide that you want to make an application the court can refuse it if family mediation hasn’t been considered.
If you and your ex-partner want a divorce, you will need to make an application to the court for this to happen. Family mediation does not have the authority to grant a divorce. Family mediation however, can be used no matter what stage you are at in legal proceedings.
If you feel mediation may be the process for you or you would like to find out more information please visit our contact page or you can phone us on 01905 330055.
All of our family mediators are registered with the Family Mediation Council and the College of Mediators.
Please note you will not be able to enter the office unless you have an appointment.
Our address is 15 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LZ. Phone number 01452 933 595.
Once you have found us please let reception aware of your arrival.
By Bus or train: We are located 15 minutes walk from both the Train and Bus station.
On foot: Centre for Resolution Mediation is approximately 1.2 miles from Gloucester High Street. To walk from the High Street, turn left onto Ryecroft Street, then turn right onto Hopewell street. In 250 yards turn left onto Barton Street and continue onto Eastgate Street for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto College Street and walk for 60 yards. You should be at the front of the cathedral, if you head down the left side you should locate a blue door. We share this building with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council so keep an eye out for their signs.
By Car: To drive to our family mediation centre using SAT NAV, please use the address 15 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LZ.
Parking: There isn’t parking on site. Please use Westgate Street Carpark which is located 4 minutes (300 yards) from the centre. Please note it is a pay and display carpark.