Mediation to resolve a family dispute
Family mediation provides a neutral environment in which you can reach amicable agreements on key decisions arising from divorce, separation or dissolution of your civil partnership. Where there is a difference of opinion, it provides a constructive way of bridging the gap, avoiding the stress and costs associated with going to court.
Supported by an expert family mediator, you can share information and resolve concerns about arrangements for your children, property and finances. You and your former partner can remain in control at all times and your mediator will not take sides. He or she will simply help you to explore and resolve your options together without offering legal advice.
The mediation department at Miles & Partners is recognised in the 2023 Legal 500 for Michelle Uppal’s ‘skilled’ work in helping couples and families to reach amicable agreements in the aftermath of separation or divorce. Michelle is also listed as a a ‘leading individual’ and ‘leading mediator’ in matrimonial law, receiving these wonderful testimonials:
‘Michelle Uppal is the only person I have referred to for mediation and I hear good reports from clients that she is fair but firm’.
‘Michelle Uppal – excellent in assisting clients through the minefields of separation and divorce and the issues which arise’.
‘Uppal runs an efficient, ethical team and I have the highest regard for her work. At her back is the full gamut of support, including public law children, domestic abuse expertise and legal aid’.
Stages of family mediation
- Stage 1 – Initial contact: You can either call us yourself, or you might be referred if your solicitor does not offer mediation. You and your former partner will each need to speak to your family mediator separately before arranging an initial meeting.
- Stage 2 – Initial meeting: This is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAMS) .You can choose to meet your mediator together or separately for an initial meeting to explain the process and whether it is the right process. If you attend together, your mediator will speak to each of you separately to ensure that you are happy to proceed with mediation before each signing an agreement to mediate.
- Stage 3 – Mediation sessions: Each family mediation session can last from 1 hour and is tailored to your specific needs. Because every couple is different, it can be difficult to estimate how many sessions are needed, but your mediator will give you an estimate depending on the issues you need to discuss. If you have financial matters to resolve, you should be prepared for full disclosure of your finances. If you have children together, you will have the opportunity to discuss and agree arrangements for their care and child arrangements.
- Stage 4 – Formal agreement: When you have reached an agreement, your mediator will produce a memorandum of understanding which you should each share with your respective solicitors, one of whom should draft a legal agreement and/or a consent order to sign.
If you like the idea of an amicable approach to settling matters, but would prefer to have your solicitor by your side throughout the process, you may wish to consider collaborative law.
Both mediation and collaborative law are approaches to dispute resolution which help you to build a better framework for communications. This is particularly valuable if you have children and wish to co-parent in a positive way in the future.
Speak to our mediators
Family mediators can be qualified solicitors or may come from a therapeutic background. Miles & Partners offers both kinds of mediator and can also provide co-mediation in which both a legal and a therapeutic mediator offer their support.
Our offices are close to Liverpool Street station, so if you both work in the City of London, you can fit in family mediation around work commitments to help the process to run smoothly.
Contact us to explore whether mediation could be right for you.