Family Mediation at Watson Thomas Solicitors
Mediation is a cost effective and practical route to resolving your family law dispute. We offer clear capped fees for this service and costs can be shared between the parties.
A mediator will facilitate discussions between you and your former spouse or partner and guide you towards a practical solution. The discussions are confidential and legally privileged. You can discuss any issues at mediation, including arrangements for children, finances or divorce. The mediator is neutral and will not take sides in the dispute.
The mediator doesn’t advise you but at Watson Thomas our mediators are also solicitors which means they have the legal expertise to provide information where appropriate. Your solicitor can support you outside the mediation and give you legal advice.
Mediation is voluntary but it is also strongly encouraged by the courts. Attending a Mediation Information session (known as a MIAM) is compulsory before issuing children or finance proceedings, unless you qualify for an exemption.
Legal aid is available for mediation depending on your circumstances.
Mediation has been widely found to improve communication between parents who have separated. Mediation can help to resolve disputes quicker and more cheaply than court proceedings. If you think it might be for you, please give us a call to discuss further.
What happens next?
If you decide to proceed with mediation, we will speak to each of you on the phone and arrange to see each of you individually before the first joint session. Both of you will receive a letter explaining the process. You will need to complete a Referral Form and an Agreement to Mediate before the first meeting.
What happens after mediation?
At the end of the process we will prepare a detailed summary of the outcome, which you can have made into a legally binding agreement or court order. You will also receive a full financial summary, known as an Open Financial Statement, if your mediation concerned financial matters. Following mediation, you will be encouraged to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor before formalising any binding legal agreement. Attending mediation can make the process of reaching agreement much faster.
In accordance with our clear fees policy, we offer mediation services for a capped fee which means that you know how much you will pay at the outset. Please talk to us about your requirements. The normal hourly rate we charge for mediation is £245 p/h + VAT. We can offer an initial intake session (consisting of two individual meetings with each client and one joint meeting of 90 minutes) for a fixed fee of £650 + VAT. The cost can be shared between the parties.
For solicitors and other referring professionals, please download the Mediation referral form
For further information on the Mediation Services offered at Watson Thomas Solicitors, please download the leaflet here