Telephone: 0845 838 2306
Separation and Divorce
Separation and Divorce
Have you recently separated and do not know what to do next?
Have you got lots of questions?
How does it all work? Where do I start? Do I go to mediation? What do I do after that? What about the child arrangements?
See below for a summary of the most comment questions.
Family Law Mediation Consultancy
Family Law Mediation Consultancy
See below for some some useful questions and answers related to mediation and the service we offer. If you need any additional information we would be happy to provide this on request.
The following are the most common areas of discussion for family mediation.
a) How and when you will separate and what to say to the children.
b)The child arrangements and having a parenting agreement in place.
c) Money, maintenance for the children.
d) How property should be divided.
e) Divorce and Separation Agreements.
When you separate if you both cannot discuss matters between you then mediation will help you both work out amicable solutions in relation to the above.
The following are the most common questions:
What are the child arrangements on separation? this involves considering when either parent sees the children and for how long. Taking into account overnight stays and holidays. We will help you both put forward your suggestions and reach an amicable compromise. All of the agreed arrangements can be recorded in a parenting plan or agreement so you both know exactly where you stand.
How much should I pay? Do I have to pay if I am not allowed to see the children?
Why should I pay if my access to the children is being restricted?
This is how much either parent pays towards their children's care. Child Maintenance is usually paid and is completely separate to the arrangements for the children.
Therefore, either parent should not be restricted from seeing their child if they have not paid.
Divorce and Separation.
If my ex partner is divorcing me on the basis of adultery will this affect how often I see the children or the division or our matrimonial assets?
Adultery is not the sort of behaviour that would restrict the child arrangements or affect a financial settlement.
One example of the type of behaviour that may affect either of the above could be domestic abuse which has had an impact on the other. So for child arrangements this would have to been considered as it depends on the extent / level of abuse and the affect on you and the children.
In relation to financial settlement if for example you or the children saw or were subjected to domestic and psychological abuse to the extent that this had a dramatic effect on ability to work or psychologically, then this could affect a financial settlement given the link to earning capacity as a result of that person's behaviour towards you.
Divorce, Separation, financial settlement and Family Mediation.
How often do you mediate on the above? We mediate daily in relation to divorce and separation, child arrangements and dividing financial assets such as property, money or pensions.
With regard to dividing assets at mediation, we ask you both to provide information about your finances so you can then discuss how the assets should be divided. We look at monies incoming, expenditure and assets to find a way that both parties can live financially independent lives.
By the end of the discussions we hope an amicable agreement can be reached so that an agreement can then be prepared to reflect your agreements so you both know where you stand.
Why do people need mediation?
Why can't they just talk between themselves?
Often on separation there is a lack of trust and this then results in a lack of communication.
Our Mediators are here to support you both and will help rebuild the communication through open discussion. We help those who have already separated or divorced or those who are about to separate or divorce, in relation to the children, finances and assets.
What is the role of a family mediator?
The mediator’s role is to help you both narrow down the issues for discussion at mediation and to concentrate on resolving matters amicably. We do this by acting in an impartial way so not disclosing our opinion and not providing each of you with advice. We provide legal information and direction only to assist you both in making an informed decision. Mediators are then able to remain balanced and to support separating couples to move forward.
What qualifications do mediators have?
Mediators firstly undertake training with a accredited organisation. Mediators are then accredited and are able to mediate to a professional standard. Mediators register on a data base with their chosen professional organisation. Our mediators are accredited and have many years experience. They are here to help you resolve matters in a cost and effective way. This method is fast and less stressful than going to the family court. The courts also encourage parties to attend mediation with a view to resolving matters out of court.
Do I have to attend mediation?
Unless there is good reason not to our mediators will encourage you both to attend mediation.
The courts also ask people to attend mediation before certain court proceedings can commence.
Mediation can take place by way of telephone conference, or remotely on platforms such as zoom, or in the same room. However, if you really do not want to be in the same room as your former partner we can offer shuttle mediation. This is where there are one or two mediators and you are both in separate rooms and we go between each room to discuss matters with each of you.
This option can take longer and is more expensive but if this option is preferred we are able to help.
What if we do not reach any agreement?
Our mediators will do our best to encourage discussion between you both. Our mediators will help you both to explore all of the options and help you to consider options. Our family mediators are trained to facilitate difficult conversations where parties do not agree. If mediation does not work we will talk you through the options so you can move forward.
What can I do if the agreement is not complied with by my ex partner?
You should come back to mediation and try to work out why the agreement has been broken and discuss ways that it can work in the future. Some circumstances may have changed which have affected the agreement. Further discussion may then be necessary to work out how to move forward. The agreement can then be updated. Or you can seek independent advice but it is likely that you will be referred back to mediation first before discussing any other options like a court application.
Can my parents or my new partner attend family mediation with me?
Usually it would only be the mediator and you at your first meeting, but if you need support this can be discussed and we will not object to parents or a friend being present in those circumstances.
For the joint meetings, as you are both trying to reach an agreement, it is not a good idea to have new partners or parents present. This may have the effect of preventing open discussion or causing further arguments.
Can grandparents attend family mediation?
The answer to this question is yes they can. We often see grandparents who want to attend family mediation about seeing their grandchildren. It is often the case then that when there has been a separation grandparents are either restricted from seeing their grandchildren or prevented suddenly.
Grandparents often attend family mediation for reasons such as:
Establishing seeing their grandchildren
Having concerns about their grandchildren’s welfare & well being
Trying to re-establish communication between their grandchildren’s.
Trying to re-establish communication with either parent of their grandchildren.
Legal aid am I entitled to this?
We do not offer legal aid. However, we are aware that there are very strict limits on this. A legal aid assessment is carried out by those providing legal aid and the following is considered:
Any money that is incoming with the exception of DLA/PIP
Full details of you income and outgoings and that of your new partner if you live together.
Are the documents you receive at mediation legally binding?
Mediation itself is not legally binding. But if you agree matters and an agreement is prepared. Depending on the type of agreement you chose then agreements prepared after mediation can become legally binding. We would start by preparing outcome documents such as a memorandum of Understanding and or summary of the agreements reached at mediation. You are both then able to take independent advice and once you are happy then the agreement can be incorporated into a legally binding document or documents for you both to sign and take away with you. We will be able to provide you with guidance and various options on this throughout the process.
What is Civil Mediation?
This often includes:
Neighbour disputes this can include a dispute about a boundary or noise. We are able to help mediate on these issues with a view to reaching an amicable compromise.
Do you deal with disputes about money? Yes we do and are able to facilitate a meeting to discuss how this mater can be resolved between you both. This could be a dispute between friends, family or money owed to an organisation.
Do you deal with disputes about a Will or inheritance? Yes we do this is a very common area of dispute. Again we will help bring the parties involved together to talk about their concerns with a view to reaching a compromise or amicable solution.
What other areas of dispute do you deal with? We deal with work related disputes or community disputes. This may include you having an issue at work such as with pay or other members of staff. We will help resolve matters in a calm and professional manner.
We are able to identify the issues after speaking to each party. Then encourage open discussion with a view to reaching an amicable solution. We would then put the outcome in writing.