Family Mediation

 

Mediation is an opportunity for people who are in dispute about family matters to make arrangements for the future in relation to finances and/or their children. A family mediator will facilitate discussions between two clients so that they can consider their options and propose solutions in a calm and measured environment. A mediator never imposes an outcome on the clients who are always the ultimate decision makers.

 

Encouraging the use of mediation assists in the resolution of disputes and helps to avoid the worry, time and cost associated with court-based litigation. On average mediation costs less than half the costs of litigation and it is much faster according to a report by the National Audit Office.

 

Thomas More Chambers mediators are trained by Resolution and the Family Mediators Association. They are legally qualified practising family Barristers with a wealth of experience. A mediator may provide factual information as to what the law is, but cannot advise a client.

 

How does it work?

 

In most cases the first step is attendance at Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting - such a meeting is required under the new "Pre-application protocol". This is a short meeting to decide whether mediation is suitable. Individuals or couples can attend the MIAM depending on the circumstances of the case. The fee for the MIAM will be offset against any future mediation sessions.

 

Once both clients have been assessed and mediation is considered suitable, they need to sign the Agreement to Mediate. This is the starting point of mediation and sets out the obligations of both clients and the mediator.

 

Mediation often lasts between 3 and 4 sessions and usually takes place every couple of weeks. The mediation is conducted directly by the mediator with the client (no lawyers are necessary) and Thomas More Chambers are able to mediate in French and Spanish as well as in English. Mediation can take place at Thomas More Chambers or at Solicitor’s offices.

 

Each 90 minute session will cost £125 per person plus VAT. A separate charge is, however, levied for the drafting of the Memorandum of Understanding which is prepared at the end of the sessions. The Memorandum of Understanding is written in terms which will cover all of the legal points making it easy for the clients or the client’s lawyers to prepare the appropriate legally binding documentation.

 

For further information please contact either the clerks at clerks@thomasmore.co.uk, Sarah Lucy Cooper slcooper@thomasmore.co.uk or Fiona Edington fedington@thomasmore.co.uk

 

Fiona is also a fully trained Resolution Collaborative Lawyer. Please contact her for further details of this service.