Mediation

What is Family Mediation?

Family Mediation is a process of resolving disputes by sitting around a table with your spouse/former partner and an independent, professionally trained mediator, who acts as a facilitator to your discussions\negotiations.   Whether you need to resolve issues about your finances, maintenance and\or the arrangements for your children, mediation is an effective way of reaching an agreement.

Do I have to Mediate?

No, mediation is voluntary and it is important that the parties to family mediation enter it on a voluntary basis.   Either party is at liberty to terminate the mediation at any time, if they do not feel it is working.

However, in April 2011, the Government imposed a requirement that prior to the issue of a financial or child related application in the Family Court, the parties in dispute should attend a ‘Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting’ (MIAMs) and be provided with information concerning mediation, so they can determine whether mediation is appropriate for them.   A signed MIAMs certificate is signed by the mediator and attached to the court application to confirm attendance at a MIAMs

What are the Benefits?

  • Remain in control of the decisions made.
  • Less stressful – attending Court is very stressful and fraught with uncertainty.
  • Speed – mediation is quicker than drawn out court proceedings.
  • Expense – mediation is a much more cost effective way of resolving issues.
  • Success – the majority of mediations are successful.
  • A better ongoing relationship – avoiding the need to do ‘7 rounds’ in court. There is a much better prospect of remaining on reasonable terms with your former spouse/partner.  If you have children, this is particularly important for their emotional welfare.

What is the Process?

The average family mediation will require the parties to attend 3 or 4 mediation sessions lasting approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours each.

At the end of the process, the mediator will prepare a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ confirming what proposals have been agreed between the parties.  If financial matters have been an issue ‘An Open Financial Summary’ will also be prepared.

The parties can then take their own independent legal advice in regard to these proposals and have the proposals incorporated into a legally binding document.

Sally Smith – Family Solicitor and Family Mediator

Sally Smith trained to be a mediator with the Solicitors Family Law Association (now known as Resolution) in May 1998 and became accredited by the Legal Services Commission as an approved mediator in 2001.  Since that time, Sally has undertaken hundreds of successful mediations.

In February 2005 Sally was one of the first solicitors in England and Wales to train as a collaborative family lawyer and she, therefore, recognises the importance of a conciliatory approach.

Sally is well respected by the communities she serves and has over 25 years’ experience as a specialist family solicitor.

Talk to Tollers

If you would like help in resolving a dispute through mediation,  contact our extremely experienced Family Solicitor and Family Mediator Sally Smith on 01604 258517 or complete the contact form below.

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Our Mediation Experts

Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Sheena joined the Family Department of Tollers as a solicitor in December 2019. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at a local family law firm...
Deborah Atkins
Director
Deborah joined Tollers as a Director in August 2019. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1995 and has specialised in Family matters ever since...
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Since qualifying Sally has specialised exclusively in the field of family law...
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Natalie qualified in to the Family Department in 2018 having commenced her Training Contract at the firm in 2016...
Minara Hannan
Senior Solicitor
has extensive experience of dealing with family cases that relate to immigration and international assets...
Melanie Grant
Senior Associate
Melanie has trained both as a mediator and as a collaborative lawyer, acquiring useful skills which can validly be applied when dealing with relationship breakdown...
Leonie Press
Associate Solicitor
Leonie undertook a training contract with the firm and qualified into the family department in 2013. She has specialised in family law ever since...
Katie Herrod
Partner
Katie qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has been a part of Tollers family department for over 20 years. Katie is a specialist family lawyer with extensive knowledge...
Alan Peck
Head of Family Law team
Alan is a Partner at Tollers with over 30 years of experience specialising in family law matters. Alan acts mainly for breadwinners and home makers...
Sheena Patel
Solicitor
Deborah Atkins
Director
Sally Smith
Equity Partner/Family Mediator
Natalie La Forte-Brown
Solicitor
Minara Hannan
Senior Solicitor
Melanie Grant
Senior Associate
Leonie Press
Associate Solicitor
Katie Herrod
Partner
Alan Peck
Head of Family Law team
Meet the Full Family Law Team

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