Family Law Mediation Lawyers

Going through family breakdown can be an extremely stressful time and can often be overwhelming for those involved. Our accredited and experienced mediator can help guide separating couples through their options and support them in discussing and resolving the issues that result from their separation. Typically those issues relate to the arrangements for their children or the division of their financial assets.

We have modern, comfortable offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York where we can arrange for your mediation sessions to take place.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process allowing a couple to discuss issues involved in the breakdown of a relationship and agree those issues between themselves without court proceedings.

The mediator is impartial so they do not tell those taking part in mediation what they should agree on. Their role is to assist those involved to have constructive and amicable discussions and help them reach an agreement.

In cases that involve financial matters, the mediator can help the parties disclose their financial information to each so that they can make fully informed decisions. This process is often much quicker and cheaper than if the same process was done through solicitors or the court.

For more information about family mediation please see our frequently asked questions.

What are the advantages of Mediation?

  • Mediation is amicable

Many couples who are going through a separation want to maintain a good relationship with each other, especially when children are involved. Family mediation offers an opportunity for separating parents to work together with the help and support of an experienced professional.

  • The discussions in mediation are without prejudice

This means that should mediation breakdown without an agreement being reached and one party makes an application to court the discussions that took place in mediation cannot be referred to. This allows the parties to have their discussions and explore their options without anxieties that things they say might be used against them in potential court proceedings.

  • The Cost of Mediation

Typically the costs of mediation are significantly less than pursuing the matter through court proceedings.

  • You are in control

In mediation you are the one that makes the decision. Mediation allows for those involved to reach an agreement that works for them in their particular circumstances which may not look anything like the decision the court would make. If you apply to court then you are inviting a judge to make the decision. Statistics show that if you are able to reach an agreement together, especially when it is about the arrangements for children, it is more likely to be stuck to without further difficulties down the line.

Our Mediation Service

Lupton Fawcett offer a number of options when it comes to family mediation.

Our family lawyers recognise that every situation is different, therefore, our bespoke family mediation service can be designed to suit your needs. With the help of our mediator we can put together a package that works for you.

We have strong relationships with other professionals, such as financial advisors, accountants and family therapists. We can bring them into the mediation sessions to help you understand the implications of the options for financial settlements or help demystify some of the complexities of pensions.

The mediator can discuss these options with you during your Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

I am interested in mediation, what do I need to do:

We accept referrals from solicitors or individuals.

To make a referral or ask us a question about mediation, you can get in touch with our Leeds, Sheffield or York office by calling us on 0333 323 5292, by emailing us or by filling in the enquiry form on this page and letting us know a suitable time to call you back.

Once we receive a referral we will contact you directly to arrange a mutually convenient date for you to meet with a mediator.

The initial meeting, known as a MIAM, will take place with you and the mediator alone and if your case is deemed suitable for mediation, your ex-partner will be involved in subsequent meetings.

Why Choose Lupton Fawcett?

Having advised and supported many local families, individuals and businesses, we are proud to offer clients a dedicated service from specialist solicitors who are experts in their field:

We're Award Winning

We were awarded the Legal 500 HR/Employment Law team of the year in 2017

We're Connected

We're connected to the people, businesses and infrastructure throughout Yorkshire

We Put You First

You can be sure to expect superb client service from us. Our clients are our priority

We're accredited

Recognised by leading Legal Directories Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Memorandum of Understanding and an Open Financial Summary?

These are summary documents prepared by the mediator usually following the successful conclusion of mediation. They are designed to help you have all the information provided in mediation and a summary of the agreement reached. They will also help lawyers advise you on the proposed agreement and prepare the documents necessary to implement that agreement.

The Open Financial Summary is prepared in financial matters and sets out the financial disclosure, usually with supporting documentation, that you and your ex-partner have provided to the mediator during the course of mediation.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding is a summary of the discussions and proposals for agreement that you are making. It is a without prejudice document which means it does not form a legally binding agreement and cannot be shown to court.

Are the agreements legally binding?

Any agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding. As you are likely to be discussing issues that are very important to you and have significant long term consequences it is only right and necessary that you have the opportunity of discussing your proposals with a legal advisor before making the agreement legally binding. At the conclusion of the mediation the mediator will prepare summary documents setting out what is being proposed to help them advise you and incorporate any agreement into a legally binding document, if necessary.

Do I have to sit in the same room as my ex?

Usually mediation takes place with both of you and the mediator all in the same room but if you do not want to sit in the same room together then we can arrange a “shuttle mediation” where you will each have a separate room and the mediator will travel between the two. You can discuss this option with the mediator at the MIAM.

What if my ex doesn’t want to mediate?

Mediation is entirely voluntary. We can invite your ex-partner to a MIAM to find out more about mediation before they make a decision but ultimately we cannot force anyone to engage if they refuse. In these circumstances, provided you have attended a MIAM, we will provide you with the appropriate signed forms so that you can make an application to court if you choose to do so.    

What is a MIAM?

A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) is usually your first meeting with the mediator. You attend this meeting on your own and not with your ex-partner. During the meeting the mediator will explain the mediation process to you and answer any questions you may have. It is also an opportunity for the mediator for find out about you and your circumstances so that they can assess whether mediation is suitable and also understand what you are hoping to achieve out of mediation. Following the MIAM you should be in a position to make an informed decision about whether you wish to proceed with mediation.

Do I have to come to mediation before court?

In most cases relating to arrangements for children or financial matters, the family court proceedings may not be started unless, at the very least, you have attended a MIAM, unless an exemption applies. If mediation is considered unsuitable then the mediator can sign a form for you at this stage which will allow you to proceed with your court application. Mediation is voluntary and therefore there is no obligation for you to proceed with mediation following the MIAM if you do not want to.

How long does mediation take?

This really depends on you and your ex-partner and how complex the issues are that you wish to resolve. Generally, if you are discussing either only issues around children or finances then this can be resolved, on average of 90 minutes each. These sessions can be arranged closely together if both you and your ex-partner agree.

Get In Touch Today!

Get In Touch Today!

Please complete this form to make an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Remember you can still call us on 0333 323 5292 or email us at law@luptonfawcett.law

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