National Family Mediation Services have offices all over the UK



Most frequent questions and answers

Mediation is offered as a voluntary way of discussing and resolving the issues that divide couples who have separated prior to divorce in an attempt to bring about a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. Family law can seem confusing we can help. Here are some of the frequently asked questions.

It must be stressed that it is NOT a process that is in place to attempt to keep couples together. Mediation allows the parties involved to reach their own solution regarding family law and issues such as those concerning their children, property, debts or even their pets.

If you intend to go to court it is always advisable to work with your solicitor, with any matters on family law, however the mediation process was introduced as an informal, less costly way for separating and divorcing couples to reach an acceptable agreement without the need to go to court.

Thus, mediation is often a less stressful option that does not have the formal atmosphere of the court that many couples find intimidating.

Family Mediation is also usually less time consuming and can often be concluded within a day. It is also more effective than going to court for family law because it allows couples to reach their own agreement without the need of a judgement. However, your solicitor can be present to help you and provide legal advice if required.

Although going through the mediation process is not a requirement, since April 2011 the Ministry of Justice has ruled it must be considered by all parties contemplating separation or divorce before proceeding to court. Family Law is a large part of cases hitting court.

All parties now must attend at least one Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before legal proceedings can be commenced. If no agreement to mediate can be established, the parties must obtain a form FM1 from the mediator who conducted the MIAM that has to be signed to confirm that mediation is not a feasible option in their case. Helping ease the way into family law matters

The initial family mediation meeting is very short and should take no longer than 20-30 minutes and once mediation has been agreed, the process can be completed within a day but obviously this depends on the complexities of the dispute.

No – generally the meeting is between you and a member of our family mediation team to assess areas of family law unless you and your partner wish to participate in the meeting jointly.

The meeting is to assess your individual needs and to determine whether there is an opportunity for your circumstances to be resolved successfully through mediation.

No. Family Mediation is an entirely voluntary process and nobody can force you to participate. If you decide that mediation will not resolve your concerns then you can tell the mediator this as the initial meeting and the mediation process will go no further.

No. This is entirely your choice and the majority of couples find they are quite comfortable going through the mediation process without any family law legal representation. However, we suggest that you discuss mediation with your solicitor before agreeing to the process. Both parties also need to agree to mediation for the process to continue.

All our mediators are qualified as professional mediators and are required to abide by a Code of Practice. Many of our mediators also have a professional training and are either currently practicing lawyers or have been in the past.

Some have additionally qualified in a related profession and have worked for example as court welfare officers. Every mediator has been professionally trained to be sympathetic but they cannot take sides and they are not allowed to give legal advice. They must also conduct the family mediation process in a completely impartial, unbiased and confidential way.

Yes – the family mediation cannot proceed without the agreement of both parties and both have to attend.

If either of you, at any time during the family mediation process, feel reaching a mutually acceptable resolution is unlikely, either party – or the mediator – can terminate the process.

Most clients are seen approximately two weeks after being referred by a solicitor or having contacted us themselves. At the initial meeting it will be determined whether there is a reasonable opportunity for your case to be resolved. If, it appears there is no chance of reaching an agreement at mediation the file will be returned to your solicitor (if applicable).

If your partner is willing to mediate, an appointment will be made for their initial meeting as soon as possible – again, in about two weeks.

After both initial meetings have been completed, future family mediation will be arranged at a convenient date, time and place to suit both parties. The number of mediations and the length of time each meeting takes will be dependent on the complexities of your case but many can reach a resolution in less than a day.

No – but your mediator is obliged to prepare a summary of any resolution that has been reached for you and your partner’s respective solicitors. This can, if appropriate, be incorporated into a court order or other legal binding agreement.

Do I have to travel back to take part in mediation?

No, we can arrange family mediation sessions through a video or Skype conference link, saving your travel costs and also time.

There is no requirement for you to be in the same room together, especially as we can use a conferencing facility where you can have mediation sessions through a video link. The courts can also decide that you do not have to have joint mediation.

Is there any way of avoiding it?

We do not want to give you any more stress in this difficult situation, and are flexible when it comes to booking appointments. We can arrange them during the evening or at weekends.

In special circumstances, we can organise mediation sessions at your home or a convenient place for you.

There are many forms of mediation and the National Mediation Association can help you find out what is covered by the law in your area. The guidelines are very different in every state, so be sure to check with your local mediation board.

Mediation FAQs – What is a mediator and how do I get started? The person who conducts the mediation is called a mediator. The mediator may not be paid for their services.

If you don’t want to be in the middle of a lawsuit, a mediator will help you avoid it. They are unbiased and are trained to help you work through things. They will listen to both sides of the argument and attempt to find a solution that works. You may also need to bring your own lawyer with you if you choose to go this route. Ask your legal advisor what the pros and cons are and make your final decision about whether mediation is right for you.

A mediator will work with you for as long as it takes, but you may still need to hire an attorney if your case is more complicated. The mediator should also give you the option of going to trial if that is what you want.

Can I go to court if my lawyer is charging me too much? It’s very rare, but if you feel your attorney is charging too much for the mediation services they are providing, you may wish to consider going to court instead. In some states, lawyers can be ordered to pay all legal fees if the client does not win the case.

Mediation FAQs states that you are only obligated to pay for your own time and expenses unless you choose to go to court. If you are not represented, your lawyer may be responsible for paying the costs of mediation.

May I talk about the case at the mediation? Yes, if both you and your lawyer are present, you may discuss your case openly at the mediation. Many mediators will give you a list of places to discuss any issues that you may have.

If you need further information, find out if your local mediation board has guidelines for mediating. You can also contact the National Mediation Association for more information.

The first thing you should do is check with your lawyer if he or she is required to pay for mediation. There are many who provide this service for free, and you may be surprised at how much you actually need to pay if you want to settle your case.

If I need help with mediation, can my lawyer to represent me in court? This depends on several factors.

If you do not have a lot of experience in this area of the law, and your lawyer is not familiar with it, you may wish to work with them when dealing with a case that you don’t fully understand. If your lawyer is used to handling such cases, they will be able to help you decide if this is the right path for you to take.

Your lawyer may be asked to represent you in court, but they are not required to do so.

Are my lawyer allowed to discuss the settlement if I cannot reach an agreement with them? No, if your lawyer cannot reach an agreement with you, he or she may not be able to help you.


Mediation.... Keeping You In Control

The differences between mediation and arbitration all come from the truth that, in mediation, the parties maintain duty for as well as control over the disagreement and also do not transfer decision-making power to the mediator. In concrete terms, this suggests 2 points mostly:

In an arbitration, the result is established according to an unbiased criterion, the applicable legislation. In a mediation, any result is determined by the will of the events. Hence, in picking an outcome, the celebrations can consider a more comprehensive range of requirements, most notably their respective organization passions. Thus, it is usually claimed that mediation is an interest-based procedure, whereas arbitration is a rights-based procedure. Taking into consideration organization interests likewise means that the events can choose the outcome by reference to their future connection, rather than the outcome is identified only by referral to their previous conduct.

In arbitration, an event’s task is to encourage the arbitral tribunal of its case. It addresses its debates to the tribunal and not to the other side. In a mediation, considering that the outcome must be approved by both celebrations and also is not chosen by the mediator, an event’s task is to persuade, or to bargain with, the opposite side. It resolves the opposite and also not the mediator, despite the fact that the mediator might be the channel for interactions from one side to the other.
Naturally, because these distinctions, mediation is an extra informal procedure than arbitration.

It is possible to combine mediation with arbitration. In such a situation, the conflict is sent first to mediation under the WIPO Mediation Rules. Then, if a negotiation is not reached within a defined amount of time (it is advised that the parties offer either 60 or 90 days), or if a party declines to take part or to remain to take part in the mediation, the conflict is referred for a binding decision with arbitration under the WIPO Arbitration Rules (or, if the celebrations so agree, through expedited arbitration). 

The advantage of the consolidated treatment is the reward that it uses for a good faith dedication by both celebrations to the mediation process given that the repercussion of a failure to reach an agreed settlement will be more tangibly measurable in terms of the monetary and monitoring committee that would require to be incurred in the succeeding arbitration procedure.

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Mediation is first and leading a non-binding procedure. This means that, despite the fact that celebrations have actually consented to submit a disagreement to mediation, they are not obliged to continue with the mediation process after the initial meeting. In this feeling, the events stay always in control of a mediation. The extension of the process relies on their proceeding acceptance of it.

The non-binding nature of mediation means also that a decision can not be imposed on the parties. In order for any kind of settlement to be concluded, the parties should willingly accept it.

Unlike a court or a mediator, therefore, the mediator is not a decision-maker. The duty of the mediator is rather to help the events in reaching their very own choice on a negotiation of the conflict.

There are two primary ways in which mediators aid parties in reaching their very own choice, which represents 2 types of models of mediation practiced throughout the globe. Under the first model, facilitative mediation, the mediator efforts to help with communication in between the parties as well as to aid each side to recognize the various other’s perspective, placement and also interests in regard to the dispute. Under the 2nd design, evaluative mediation, the mediator offers a non-binding analysis or analysis of the disagreement, which the celebrations are after that complimentary to accept or reject as the negotiation of the conflict. It is up to the events to determine which of these two designs of mediation they wish to adhere to.

Mediation is a private procedure. Privacy serves to motivate frankness and visibility at the same time by guaranteeing the events that any kind of admissions, propositions or deals for settlement will certainly not have any type of effects past the mediation process. They can not, as a basic regulation, be made use of in succeeding litigation or mediation.

When should I utilize mediation?

Mediation should be used when it appears that other than considering lawsuits or more official practices your disagreement can not be fixed.

There are a number of advantages of mediation when contrasted to civil/commercial lawsuits or other more official practices, the primary ones are as follows; it is more affordable, quicker, much less difficult, less destructive, you manage the process, it is confidential as well as lacks prejudice.

How much money as well as time can I conserve?

The earlier you choose to make use of mediation, the most likely you are to see an increased conserving.

What happens if court proceedings have been begun?

Mediation can still be utilized even if court process have actually been started, for the most part the court will stay proceedings to allow events to mediate.

Do I have to moderate?

No! Mediation is a voluntary process, all in disagreement need to consent to use it, you can not be forced into mediation.

I intend to mediate, but the opposite side do not, what can you do?

Effective Dispute Solutions Limited will utilize its best efforts to encourage the other party to agree to mediation by highlighting the advantages of the process nevertheless as it is a voluntary process, parties can not be required to moderate.

You do, unless you desire us to designate one for you, after reviewing your conflict with us, we shall remain in a setting to suggest a mediator that would certainly appropriate for your conflict.

That are your mediators?

Our national panel of mediators have all been via an accredited mediation training course, are insured as well as supervised as well as originated from a selection of expert backgrounds, such as Judges, lawyers, solicitors including companions in national and also regional law practice, academics, lecturers, engineers, accounting professionals, property surveyors, dental experts, Human Resources experts, elderly supervisors as well as supervisors with numerous years of service experience in the UK and also overseas.

This will merely depend upon the nature of your dispute, the complexity, the number of celebrations are included etc. Most of the times it will be quite evident to you what type of mediation you require to use, in others maybe not, call us and we will recommend you on the kind of mediation you need to make use of.

Want to find out more call us today on 03300 101 367 – Evening & Weekend appointments available

FAQ Family Mediation