How soon can I have an appointment?
Depending on your availability we usually offer an initial appointment within two weeks. Call 01733 347353 now (lines open 10 am to 4pm Mon to Fri or leave a message outside those times) for an appointment or further information.
........NEWS....November 2014....Legal Aid is still available for free mediation - now extended ...............................................................
Do we need to come to an appointment together?
The first appointment (also known as a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting or MIAM) is individual and separate and enables you to meet the mediator and discuss how mediation may be able to help you. This appointment takes about 45mins. A similar appointment is arranged for the other person. If you both decide to proceed future meetings are together.
Some people prefer to come together from the start and that can also be arranged.
However, we do suggest that usually separate initial appointments are better.
How many mediation meetings are we likely to need?
That depends on the number and complexity of issues you wish to discuss. Probably 1 to 3 if you are discussing children only, 3 to 4 for finance and property only, and 5 to 6 for all issues. A mediation appointment takes an hour and a half.
What is the cost?
......NEWS....November 2014....Legal Aid is still available for free mediation appointments - now extedend. .................................................................................
If you have a low income or receive benefits you may be eligible for public funding and then the Legal Aid Agency pays all your costs. To be assessed you will need to bring to your first appointment evidence of your income including wages, tax credits, and benefits, most recent month's full bank statement and any mortgage and capital details. If one of you is eligible the Agency also pays for the initial appointment for the other person involved (and new at November 2014 all costs for the first mediation meeting too).
Others have to pay privately. The cost of the first individual appointment (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, known as MIAM) is £85. For mediation sessions (of 90 minutes) we charge according to each individual income, ranging from £90 to £200 per person per meeting. All fees are inclusive of VAT and cover paperwork and administration. Your mediator will be able to advise you more fully of the overall cost to you at your first appointment.
What if my ex does not want to mediate?
We would suggest that you proceed with an initial appointment and amongst other things you can discuss how to invite the other person. In our experience sometimes people do respond to an approach from the mediator even though they have refused in the past. You can find out a lot of information at your meeting even if the other turns mediation down and you never know they may change their minds in the future.
We are grandparents - can mediation help us to see our grandchildren?
Yes, it can be really helpful to use mediation where there is some rift or difficulty affecting the grandparent/ grandchild relationship. We arrange an initial appointment to which both grandparents can come if they wish. From there we establish who should be contacted about mediation could be both or one parent and invite them to an initial appointment. We would work out with both sides who should take part in any ensuing mediation having regard to balance and fairness.
Although I like the idea I really don't know if I can do this!
People can be apprehensive and uncertain at the start for a variety of reasons. At your first appointment you can discuss your concerns confidentially with the mediator and hear a lot more about how it works in practice, which often provides sufficient reassurance for someone to give it a try. Sometimes people worry about meeting up at the appointment and we can make arrangements so that the two of you do not meet without the mediator present e.g. separate waiting areas, different arrival and departure times. Shuttle mediation where you remain in separate rooms and the mediator moves between may be arranged in some circumstances. However, no pressure is applied for you to mediate if you decide that you prefer not to do so and in some situations the mediator might advise that mediation is not suitable e.g. where there is such fear or intimidation in the relationship free decision-making is not possible.
Can the children come to the mediation meeting?
This can be a positive experience for children and parents but we would always discuss this carefully with both of you first. It has to be agreed that it would be helpful for the child and would help you make decisions without increasing any burden on your child. Essentially the responsibility for any decisions remains, and should be seen to remain, with the parents. Some children are keen to be involved and some are not; we would not want to pressurise a reluctant child or place them in the position of choosing between two conflicted parents.
Young people can take part directly in their own mediation if the dispute is between them and a parent or stepparent. See Intergenerational mediation on the Services page.
I'd like to bring my new partner / mother / father / friend to my appointment . Is this O.K?
This is fine if you are coming to an individual first appointment although the mediator will still want to have some separate time with you.
Is it just the former couples that can take part in the mediation?
Most mediation meetings involve only the two people directly concerned (usually former couples but can for example be grandparents or carers). If you both think that it would be helpful to invite significant other people into the discussions this should be raised with the mediator at your first appointment. Involving anybody else can only be done by agreement including that of the mediator.
I am in a same sex relationship. Can we still mediate?
Yes, of course, this would in no way prevent you from taking part and reaching decisions through mediation.