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Family Mediation Services

Family mediation helps you reach an agreement with your ex-partner or spouse without needing to go through lengthy and difficult court proceedings.

You know your circumstances and your children better than the court, therefore with the assistance of an expert mediator you and your ex-partner may be able to reach an agreement without the need for potentially difficult and expensive court proceedings.

Our family mediation solicitors are on hand to help explain, guide and assist you throughout the divorce mediation process. We offer 3 approaches:

  • Family mediation

  • Collaborative law

  • Arbitration

Family and Divorce Mediation

Our family mediation solicitors help you and your ex-partner discuss and reach an agreement about your arrangements regarding your divorce/separation, children, and financial and property matters.  

Your mediation solicitor will be impartial and work so both you and your ex-partner can come to an agreement on your issues. They will work to create a calm environment so issues can hopefully be resolved effectively.

Alternatively, you and your partner can sit in separate rooms if preferred, with the mediator communicating between you. This is known as shuttle mediation.

We've prepared a helpful guide to some of the common questions clients ask in relation to mediation, as well as information in relation to Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs). An MIAM is usually required should you wish to take your issue or dispute to court to be resolved.

How Much Does Family Mediation Cost?

The cost of family mediation can vary depending on the complexity of the issues being discussed and agreed upon. It can also vary depending on the number of sessions required to come to an agreement.

It is however likely to be much cheaper than going to court. You may also be eligible for legal aid to cover the partial or full cost of family/divorce mediation.

Our mediation charges are calculated on a per fixed-price meeting, giving you greater clarity on how much it may be set to cost.

Before Mediation

Before you start the mediation process, you should have a clear idea of what you are looking to achieve from the mediation.

You may also need to prepare documentation such as bills and bank statements and fill in a financial disclosure form. This is important for ensuring discussions about finances and property are honest.

If you lie or conceal information during this process, it can result in any outcome of the mediation becoming void and risks your ex-partner wanting to take the matter to court.

After Mediation

If mediation results in an agreed outcome for both parties, the mediator will create a “memorandum of understanding”, this document can then be turned into a consent order. If your ex-partner does not stick to the agreed outcomes of mediation, you can take them to court.

What Happens if Family or Divorce Mediation Doesn’t Work?

If mediation doesn’t result in an agreed outcome between you and your ex-partner, or if your ex-partner breaks the conditions of the mediation agreement, there are several routes you can take:

  • Go to court - you can resolve the matter in court. This will usually result in a definitive outcome, whereby breaking the conditions of the court judgement can result in further legal action.

  • Collaborative law - Where both you and your ex-partner will come to an agreement with your solicitors present.

  • Family arbitration - The arbitrator will judge the situation and come to their own judgement on the agreement that should be made.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a process that encourages the parties to work together on settling their matrimonial family issues, rather than using the courts. Collaborative Law originated in America and has been brought to the UK through the organisation Resolution.

This involves you, your ex-partner and your separate solicitors sitting in a room and coming to agreements on matters such as finances, property, other assets and child arrangements.

This can be more beneficial and productive if mediation has not worked, as your solicitor will be present to advise you on the best course of negotiation and action.

If you’d like more information on collaborative law, we've prepared a helpful guide to some of the common questions clients ask in relation to collaborative law.

Family Arbitration

Arbitration is another alternative to the court process which allows couples  to sign up to an agreement that they will both go to arbitration and be bound by the decision of the arbitrator.

This is like agreeing to have your case decided by an independent trial judge for a day or two days, if that is how long the case lasts. An arbitration hearing can be organised quickly and can give a quick resolution particularly bearing in mind the delays in the court system.

Arbitration is often quicker and cheaper than going to court, and is often the last resort before going to court to settle your disputes and issues.

Why Choose Docklands Solicitors’ Family Mediation Services?

Docklands Solicitors’ family law team have vast experience providing a bespoke, personal and flexible mediation, collaborative law and arbitration services to all of our clients.

Dawn Harrison and Graham Jones are both highly experienced and accredited mediators.  Dawn Harrison, Daniel Bennett, Jonathan Miller and Emma Palmer are all trained and experienced collaborative lawyers.

Whether you are looking to embark on family mediation, collaborative law or arbitration, simply submit an enquiry at the bottom of the page. If you prefer, you can also call us to discuss your circumstances and how we can help you on 020 7531 2990. Our family team are highly experienced and can offer expert advice on all areas relating to mediation and collaborative law.

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