Frequently asked Questions:
If you are considering mediation as an option for your family but want to know more then take a look at our FAQs below. We offer mediation in Derby and can work with you to help resolve a number of issues related to your separation.
What do we discuss in Mediation?
This depends on what issues you feel you need help with. We can discuss the practical implications of how you separate and fund two separate households. There will be a need for you to resolve the financial aspect of your separation, for example how will you share any capital assets? What should happen with the family home? If there are debts how will these be paid? If you want any financial agreement including in a formal order of the court you will need to consider what steps can be taken to achieve this.
If you have children you will need to consider how you will meet their needs once you are living separately, for example where will they live? What arrangements can be put in place to make sure they are able to continue to enjoy a close and loving relationship with both parents and if appropriate what level of maintenance should be paid.
Do I have to come to Mediation?
There has been a change in the law and procedure that is followed by the courts when sorting out family related matters. It is now a requirement that you attend a MIAM (Mediation and Information and Assistance Meeting) with a suitably qualified and FMC accredited Mediator before issuing an application with the court. A MIAM lasts about 1 hour, you will meet with your Mediator separately and it is only following your individual MIAM that if your case is suitable AND you both agree that you would like to try Mediation then at that point we will arrange a date for your first joint Mediation session. If your case is not suitable for Mediation we will provide you with the relevant signed paperwork that you will need to include with your application to the court.
(Please note that as a result of recent changes implemented by the FMC Standards Board the Court is now required to only accept paperwork that has been signed by an FMC Accredited Mediator and included in the paperwork will need to be the Mediators name and FMC Unique Registration Number.)
Is Mediation suitable for dealing with cases that involve substantial assets ?
Yes, Mediation can be used in cases where there are significant assets, for example pension funds; investments and business interests such as Business Partnerships and Limited Companies.There is a legal requirement for you to provide “Full and Frank Financial Disclosure” before discussing any proposed agreement. Your Mediator will work with you both to ensure that all of the relevant information is supplied and we will discuss the issue of what expert help may be required with you.For example it may be necessary to involve an Independent Accountant to value business interests; if there are substantial pension funds you may need to consider obtaining an Actuarial Report from a Pensions Expert; you may need to obtain Independent Financial Advice to help you make decisions about the most cost effective way of sharing your assets as well as clarifying any potential Capital Gains Tax liability.
How long will it take?
This will depend on the issues that you choose to bring to the Mediation process. Each session usually lasts 1.5 hours, if you want to discuss one issue such as the arrangements for your children or financial matters you may need 2 to 3 sessions. If you want to discuss both of these issues you may need between 2 to 5 sessions.
What will happen if I feel that Mediation is not working for me?
Mediation is a voluntary process (except for the requirement for you to attend a MIAM) therefore you can withdraw at any point from Mediation if you feel that it is not working. Your Mediator I will sign the relevant paperwork that will inform the court that you have been in Mediation but that it has “Broken Down”. We do not provide the court with any more information than this because what you discuss in Mediation is Confidential.
Will I need a Solicitor?
It is recommended that at some point during the mediation process you both seek independent legal advice; your Mediator will discuss the need for this with you when you are in session. In cases where there are substantial assets we work closely with your Solicitors to ensure that your financial disclosure is full and complete. We may ask you to take legal advice on specific points during the mediation process to ensure that you are both moving towards a settlement that will be fair and within the range of what the Court would expect to see.
I cannot afford a Solicitor where can I find more information about separation and the law?
Whilst in Mediation it is possible for your Mediator to provide “Legal Information” but not “Legal Advice” because their role is to remain impartial. We have provided a link that will take you to the Governments website for supporting separated families, please see www.gov.uk/family-separation-support
You will find a link here that will take you to the “Parenting Plan” this is a document that the courts like parents to complete although they understand that it is not always appropriate or possible for separated parents to meet and agree on the content of the form.
I want a Divorce do I have to go to Court?
No, it is possible for you to obtain a Divorce without going to Court. Information on obtaining a divorce can be found at Get a divorce – GOV.UK
(Google) or go to www.gov.uk/divorce
You can also find out more general information at www.gov.uk/family-separation-support
How do I work out child maintenance?
Please see the Government website for Child Maintenance Options go to www.cmoptions.org
where you will find a link to the section headed “How Child Maintenance is worked out” and in this section you will also be able to access the “Calculator” that enables you to work out an estimate of the amount of maintenance that should be paid.
Can I have an Order to confirm any Financial Agreement?
If you discuss and resolve the financial aspect of your separation in Mediation your Mediator will ask you to seek independent legal advice and your Solicitor may advise you that you should ask the Court to ratify any agreement reached in the form of a formal Consent Order. This is usually dealt with by your Solicitor on your behalf, he or she will be able to advise you on the procedure for obtaining a formal Order, as a general rule if you have agreed matters you will not have to attend court.
What is my next step?
If you would like to arrange a MIAM appointment please complete the Referral Form using the link below and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
we will then contact you with a view to arranging an appointment.
Mediation Referral Form