Family Law Mediation Lawyers Sheffield, York & Leeds
We are now able to offer online mediation.
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 and we can offer online mediation so that you can take part from the comfort of your own home.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process allowing a couple to discuss issues involved in the breakdown of a relationship and, with the help of the mediator, 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 other 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.
How does mediation work: Step by Step
- Referral: We receive a referral from you or your solicitor. Usually all this contains is names and contact details for you and your ex-partner.
- Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM): We arrange a one-to-one meeting with you and the mediator at a convenient time. This is an opportunity for the mediator to explain more about family mediation and answer any questions you may have. The mediator will also take some time to understand your circumstances and the issues you wish to discuss in mediation. Your former partner will also be invited to their own MIAM.
For online meetings, we will send you an email invite which contains a link to the meeting. All you will need to do is click on the link on your computer, laptop or tablet and it will take you to the meeting.
- Joint Meeting(s): Assuming everyone wishes to proceed with mediation, then a joint meeting will be arranged at a convenient time for everyone.
As before, for online mediations an invite to this meeting will be emailed to you and all you will need to do is follow that link to join the meeting. You will then be held in a virtual waiting room until the start of the mediation meeting and the mediator will invite you in.
The mediator has the option of having you and your former partner in separate rooms, or in the same room depending on your preferences.
The mediator will then help you set an agenda for the meeting and guide you through your discussions. Where the issue is about finances the mediator would usually help you and your former partner prepare a schedule of your belongings before starting to explore how the assets should be shared.
Joint meetings usually take about 1 ½ hours. Depending on the issues that need resolving, on average 2-4 joint meetings are needed.
- Summary Documents: Once an agreement has been reached, the mediator will prepare summary documents for your records and, if necessary, for you to take to your solicitors to help them advise you and prepare documents that will be legally binding, although this only usually necessary when the issues are in relation to financial matters.
Our Mediation Service
Lupton Fawcett offer a number of options when it comes to family mediation.
We 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 on our enquiry form 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.