At K J Smith Solicitors we are able to mediate on a number of cases, ranging from the straightforward through to the highly complex.
Family Mediation is a helpful option for couples going through a separation or divorce who wish to explore and discuss their options for their children and finances in a more amicable and co-operative way. By working with a mediator, both parties can openly discuss their issues and receive professional advice on a suitable way forward.
The benefits of Mediation ensure you can discuss issues at your own speed and come to a rational decision without being rushed. By choosing mediation, this allows your family to structure long-term solutions and keep control of the decisions being made, rather than having the decisions being ordered by court.
Mediation allows you to examine your options and carefully consider the choices that are being made not just for you, but also for your children. It also helps to resolve issues in a collaborative and non-confrontational way, often helping you to come to a decision with your partner before the relationship breaks down beyond repair.
Family mediation can also be much more cost effective then going to court and through mediation you receive professional advice from your mediator who will co-operate with couples to resolve hostility to reach an amicable decision. However attending a Mediation Informative & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is in most cases a legal requirement, before choosing to attend court.
There are many issues that can be dealt with in the mediation process, some examples are:
Family Mediation is a voluntary process, which requires both parties to attend in order for the process to work. Once both parties have agreed to attend a session with a mediator they will receive an Agreement to Mediate, which lays out the initial ground rules of mediation.
There are usually 3 main steps that are undertaken;
Step One: The first meeting that takes place is often referred to as a Mediation Informative & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This gives you the opportunity to understand:
It also gives you a chance to ask any questions before the process starts, ensuring you’re comfortable with the process and issues that may be discussed.
If after the first meeting you decide family mediation is not suitable for you and you wish to take the matter to court, the mediator will sign a relevant court form to provide evidence that you have considered mediation.
Step Two: Once you have both agreed to continue with mediation, you will begin the mediation sessions that are fully confidential and allow you and your partner to openly discuss any financial matters and concerns surrounding your children.
This is the perfect opportunity to take control of the decisions being made, rather than a judge, in the event that you are not happy about the final decisions. Throughout the mediation process you can discuss how you would both like things to work out going forward and the mediator can assist by helping you find a common solution.
Step Three: Once the mediation process comes to a conclusion, a document presenting all the agreed proposals will be given to you. This can be passed on to your solicitor who will put these documents into a legally binding contract known as a ‘Consent Order’.
The duration of the mediation process depends on you and your partner’s individual circumstances and also the issues being discussed. However on average, 4 sessions are usually enough for you and your partner to come to an amicable conclusion.
Although family mediation does work for most couples, there are times when mediation is not suitable, examples of this are:
At K J Smith Solicitors we have a team of professional family mediators who are able to help couples reach an agreement.
We have offices in Henley-on-Thames, London, Reading, Windsor, Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield and Abingdon but we have helped many families in the surrounding areas including Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, and High Wycombe.
Please contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford) or 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield) or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about family mediation and the services we provide.