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Richardson Gildener Solicitors offer a specialist and expert service to help resolve disputes over all issues faced by separating couples, or specific issues such as arrangements for any children. Our Resolution trained Family Mediators are here to help you reach an agreement for the future, whether that is in relation to financial issues, children or both. Our Resolution trained Mediators are also qualified and practising solicitors who understand the law as well as being trained in Mediation skills.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process by which parties can resolve disputes in a friendly, relaxed and non-confrontational way. Mediation is a neutral process in which the mediator does not form any judgments, give any opinions or make any decisions. Mediators do not provide legal advice but ensure that client's have enough information to assist them with the process. Agreements are reached entirely by the parties involved with a mediator merely encouraging an agreement to suit all parties.
Why choose Mediation?
Mediators help parties to negotiate their own arrangements without needing the assistance of the Court. The process can be much more cost effective than dealing via solicitor negotiations and allows the parties to retain control over the outcome.
Mediation is often a much quicker process than dealing through the court system, and ensures that both parties' relationship can remain amicable.
The benefits of Mediation
- Avoids the risks and substantial cost of going to Court;
- Reduces tension and hostility;
- Helps you make informed decisions that are right for your circumstances;
- Discussions take place in the comfort and safety of our offices;
- It saves you money and time.
How does Mediation work?
Each party will attend an initial meeting separately. This enables them to freely air their issues and views and to discuss what they hope to achieve from Mediation. Once it has been established that each party is happy to proceed with Mediation, regular meetings will take place until an agreement has been reached or it is apparent that Mediation is not going to be successful.
How long will Mediation take?
The average time for "All Issues Mediation" is between 3 and 5 meetings and each meeting is usually approximately one and a half hours long.
However, the time needed depends on:
- Individual circumstances;
- The number of issues to be discussed;
- The complexity of the issues;
- How flexible each party can be in making days/times for appointments.
What financial disclosure takes place?
Should financial matters be discussed at Mediation there is an expectation for full disclosure of all finances. Both parties will be expected to complete a financial statement and provide documentary evidence in support. All of this information will be discussed openly to ensure both parties fully understand the financial position of the other. This will also assist any solicitor involved to provide legal advice and to help support any financial settlement that is reached.
Is Mediation legally binding?
Any agreement reached through Mediation is not legally binding.
Should Mediation be successful and both parties reach an agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding based on the outcome of Mediation will be prepared. This will then be provided to each party's advisers and an application can be made to the Court to have the agreement drafted into a Court Order. This will then enable any agreement reached to be legally binding.
What happens if Mediation is not suitable?
From April 2013 anyone who wants to make an application to the court regarding finances of the marriage or children matters will be required to attend Mediation. Should your case not be suitable for Mediation, or one party is unwilling to mediate, then a form called an FM1 will be completed by the Mediator to take back to the solicitor to enable Court proceedings to be commenced. Before the Mediator is williing to complete an FM1, a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) will have to take place.
Is there a charge for Mediation?
The initial meeting is free of charge and any subsequent meetings will be charged at £100 plus VAT per person, per hour. A MIAM is charged at £90.00 plus VAT.
Do's and Don'ts of Mediation
- Offer a safe neutral environment in which to discuss things;
- Act impartially at all times;
- Facilitate the discussions;
- Manage the meetings in a calm and relaxed manner;
- Allow you to retain control over the outcome;
- Provide options for you to explore.
Mediators Do Not:
- Give legal advice;
- Offer counselling or therapy;
- Judge any party or their;
- Disclose any information discussed in the meetings unless there is a risk regarding the saftey of a child;
- Make decisions for you.
We accept referrals from solicitors and individuals. Should you wish to instruct our Mediators please can you complete the attached form and email it to:
For solicitors referal form click here
For individuals referral form click here