What is Family Mediation?

Mediation is a means of sorting out any problems you may have when your relationship breaks down with the assistance of a mediator. The mediator facilitates a discussion between the parties but does not give legal advice during the meetings. You are therefore expected to have your own solicitor to advise you during the mediation process. However, by using mediation to resolve your family problems you will save a significant amount of time and money. Here at Reeds Family Law Solicitors Debra Stevens has been a mediator for 20 years and has mediated successfully with over 3000 couples. Within the Wakefield area Debra is the most experienced and qualified mediator and provides excellent service and value for money.

Do I have to go to mediation?

You do not have to attend mediation if you do not want to. If you would prefer to issue court proceedings and for a judge to make a decision for you then there is nothing stopping you doing this. However, before you do so you must attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to find out about mediation. You cannot issue an application at court for an order in Children’s or financial matters without attending the MIAM first.

At the MIAM meeting the mediator will give you information about the mediation process and assess whether your case is suitable to be dealt with in this way. Mediators do not give legal advice and are not acting for you as a Solicitor. Mediation is therefore not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a Solicitor. There will be a charge for this meeting.

If you and the other party decide not to resolve matters using mediation, or if mediation is not appropriate such as where there has been domestic abuse, the mediator will sign your application form so that you can issue court proceedings.

Family Mediation Information

Family Mediation is a process where an independent third party (the mediator) helps parties with a dispute to try and reach an agreement. The couple with the dispute, not the mediator, decide whether they can resolve the issues resulting from the breakdown of their relationship. These issues usually relate to children, finances and who (if the couple is married or in a civil partnership) is going to issue Divorce/Dissolution proceedings.

  • Mediation is a type of Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and so has the following benefits to you:
  • It is voluntary – you can choose whether to mediate or not;
  • It is private and confidential – what you talk about in mediation cannot normally be used in court later unless you both agree;
  • You and the other party make the final decision about how to resolve your dispute;
  • The mediator is impartial – he or she does not take sides or say who is right or who is wrong;
  • The mediator is independent.

Mediation reduces the pain of family breakdown because it:

  • Reduces tension and hostility;
  • Helps you make informed decisions that are right for your circumstances;
  • Keeps communication channels open;
  • Saves the cost of expensive court battles;
  • Helps children by showing parents working together to resolve issues.

Mediation takes place face to face with the mediator.

Debra Stevens has been a mediator for 20 years and conducted over 5000 MIAMS meetings and 3000 mediations. Debra holds every accreditation in mediation and is one of the most experienced and sought after mediators in the UK. Debra is passionate that with her “experience and knowledge as a mediator there is no reason why you cannot reach an agreement that is acceptable to both of you and in the process possibly save thousands of pounds in legal fees”

The MIAM appointment is charged on a fixed fee. The cost is £100 plus vat (£120). This is the same amount the Legal Aid Agency pays mediation services who undertake publicly funded mediation. Reeds Family Mediation no longer undertake publicly funded mediation.

If you wish to make an appointment please complete our Mediation Referral Form or alternatively send us an email with your details and we will contact you to arrange an appointment that is convenient for you.

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