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what people say

The Mediator was fair and did not take sides. A good all-round balance

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Is Mediation the same as relationship counselling - will the mediator try to get us back together?

No, definitely not. Mediation is the next logical step separated or separating couples take having concluded that their marriage, relationship or civil partnership is at an end and they want to sort out practical matters arising from separation.

Will my former partner and I have to sit in the same room together with the mediator?

Yes. The main reason why mediation works as a process is because when people are in the room together they can communicate directly with each other rather than through third party as happens when people use legal services. Mediation helps avoid misunderstanding and distrust between former partners.

We know that meeting face to face can be very difficult for some people and so we can arrange separate waiting areas and different arrival and departure times if required.

Will I get a formal agreement at the end of mediation?

At the end of the process when you have made decisions about a financial settlement/arrangements for the children your Mediator will prepare a mediation summary which will set out in detail the proposals which have been made. Since this itself is not legally binding many people go on to have their financial agreement "rubber stamped" by the court to create a legally binding agreement - their solicitor can do this by a simple and inexpensive postal application to the court.

How much will it cost?

Legally Aided Clients:

For clients who qualify financially legal aid is still available for mediation, and for these clients the whole process is conducted free of charge. Additional benefits are that the govenment will also fund some initial mediation work for the other person involved in the mediation. And we can arrange for the client to receive free legal advice during the mediation process. We can assess for legal aid at the initial meeting.

Privately Funded Clients:

We can explain our costs at the initial meeting. We offer fixed costs for each stage of the mediation process so clients are able to budget for their costs.

Mediation with FMF much less expensive than doing equivalent work using solicitors or going to court to resolve issues.

What do I do to find out more about mediation and to find out if it is right for me?

If you contact the service we will arrange for you to have an initial meeting which will be with just you and the Mediator, who will assess your eligibility for public funding. This meeting lasts for about an hour and is an opportunity for you to hear more about the process and ask any further questions you may have. We know that mediation is a big commitment for clients, both financially and emotionally, so we need to be as sure as possible that mediation is right for them.

Will I be eligible for Public Funding?

If you wish to self-assess your likely eligibility for Public Funding, and you have access to the internet, you can go to Gov.uk and then type 'legal aid' into the search box. You will then see a heading 'Check if You can get Legal Aid'. This will then take you through a series of questions before making a calculation. You will however still have to be formally assessed and produce some financial information when you see the Mediator.

Can you Mediate on other areas of family issues?

Yes. For example, we can Mediate on issues involving grandparents for contact. We also Mediate on issues such as maintenance disputes between “over 18” children and their parents regarding maintenance and any other issues which need to be resolved and may be assisted by Mediation. We can also work with clients to help with Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Co-Habitation Contracts.