What is family mediation?
Family mediation offers you the opportunity to settle disputes and make difficult decisions. This can include parenting and child arrangements, divorce, separation, finances and dividing assets.
Often people think family mediation is only for those who wish to resolve family disputes around children or divorce. Mediation is also suitable for discussions about finances, unmarried couples, grandparents and complex family disputes, and can include multiple family members. This list is not exhaustive. Centre for Resolution’s family mediators will take their time to see whether family mediation is the right process for you.
Our family mediators can provide you with information about separation and divorce processes, however, we do not give advice but we will work with you to find the next steps.
We have family mediation centres in Worcester, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Cheltenham and Gloucester. If you would like to find out more about one of these areas please Contact us for more information.
The family mediation process
Before you start the mediation process you will attend a first meeting known as a MIAM (Mediation Information Assessment Meeting). Usually, you would attend this meeting on your own. In this meeting, the mediator would discuss the costs, how mediation works and to see if mediation is the right process for you. At the end of this meeting, you would decide whether you want to continue with mediation. A MIAM in most cases would be a legal requirement before the court would accept your application for an order.
Joint mediation sessions will begin if both parties decide mediation is something they would like to continue with. We understand that if you are in conflict with each other this can be difficult. However, both parties must agree that they wish to engage in family mediation for it to go ahead.
If, after you have attended a MIAM, you decide mediation isn’t the right process for you, the mediator will still sign the C100 form. This then enables you to make an application to the court.
If after the first meeting you decide this process is not for you it doesn’t mean that you can’t revisit it at a later date.
How we make it easier to mediate
Don’t feel you can’t attend mediation because you’re in conflict with one another. It is normal for those who enter mediation to not be getting along. This is what Centre for Resolution’s Family Mediators are here to support with. Our family mediators are here to make sure that your voice can be heard in an environment that is safe, in order for agreements to be made. We offer our family mediation services in Worcester and Gloucestershire.
If you feel it may be too difficult to be in the same room as the person you are coming to mediation with, we also offer Shuttle Mediation. This is when you would both be in separate rooms and the mediator will go from one room to the other summarising what has been said from one party to another.
Family mediation costs
Public funding is available to some clients, making family mediation free of charge or partially funded. In your first meeting we will carry out a means test to see whether or not you are eligible for funding. Centre for Resolution don’t have a legal aid contract and therefore can only accept cases that aren’t funded by legal aid.
If you are eligible for legal aid we can signpost you to mediation services who offer family mediation funded by legal aid.
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.
If you are interested, you can find out more about the costs of our family mediation service in and around Worcestershire.
Benefits of Centre for Resolution’s family mediation
- Faster, cheaper and more flexible than going to court
- Puts you in control of the outcome rather than the courts
- Can improve ongoing relationships between parents
- It is voluntary so you can end it at any time
- Can improve communication
- Provides you with a safe space to speak openly
- Easier on the children when parents are amicable
- Less confrontational than going to court
- Recognises the past whilst focusing on the future
- Can re-build trust
Although family mediation can be very helpful, it is not a process that is suitable for everybody.
These things may prevent mediation from working:
- If there has been domestic abuse in the past, mediation can still be a positive way to sort through family disputes. If there is still abuse or intimidation then it may not be appropriate.
- Child Abuse
- If you don’t know where your ex partner is or have no way of contacting them
- The mediator thinks that mediation isn’t suitable
- Mental or physical incapacities that prevent you from making informed decisions
Our family mediators understand that most people considering our family mediation service are doing so in difficult times. We are here to listen and if you wish to know more about the process or have any questions please get in touch with our Worcester family mediators.
Centre for Resolution is a proud member of The College of Mediators and all of our family mediators are registered with the Family Mediation Council.
What do people say about our family mediation service…
“When it came to the day of mediation, I felt understood, confident and as if the outcome would be positive. Without their help in preparing me for the mediation, I don’t feel the outcome would have been as positive as it was.” – Tim A.
Questions often asked
”Can I have mediation without a solicitor?”
In most family mediations, it is often the case that solicitors are not present. Those attending the mediation service may wish to seek legal advice however the process does not require the use of a solicitor.
”What qualifications do mediators have?”
All family mediators should have undertaken foundation training followed by the family specialism. They would then have to complete a portfolio in order to be accredited by the Family Mediation Council. You can visit the Family Mediation Council’s website where there is a database of all family mediators, those who are accredited and those who are working towards accreditation. If your family mediator does not appear on this list then they are not qualified and are therefore unable to provide the full mediation service.
Contact us for more information about our family mediation centres in Worcester, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Cheltenham and Gloucester.