Family Mediation

 

We offer unparalleled expertise in family mediation. Legal 500 UK has described FLiP’s mediation practice as pioneering and market-leading’ with Dominic Raeside, our Head of Mediation an ‘outstanding mediator’.

Our first class mediators combine exceptional legal knowledge with care and compassion to deliver constructive solutions in partnership with you.

Our mediators cover all family issues in relation to both domestic and cross border family disputes. Some of our mediators are also qualified to offer child inclusive mediation whilst others offer hybrid mediation services. Mediation meetings can take place in person and/or online, whichever you prefer.

You might want to watch our video (here), listen to our podcast (here) or read our Top Tips for Your First Mediation Meeting (here) to learn more about family mediation and whether it is right for you.

If you have an enquiry about family mediation at FLiP, please contact our Mediation Co-ordinator Wendy Hoare.

Please note that if you have already instructed one of FLiP’s family lawyers to act for you, our mediation team will not be able to provide mediation services to you and your partner.

How Does Mediation Work? →

Many separating couples would like to come to an agreement about their children or financial affairs but may not be able to discuss the issues constructively between themselves. Family mediation can create a safe space to help you reach agreement with the support of our highly skilled mediators.

Mediation is a voluntary process which the Courts actively encourage. You and your partner meet with a neutral mediator or mediators to discuss the issues between you.

The mediator encourages dialogue, helping to clarify issues, explore options and test which will work in practice. If firm proposals are reached, these are recorded in a document which although not legally binding, can be made into a legally binding agreement if you wish.

Although mediation does not involve the Courts, it is conducted within the framework of the law and, as such, both you and your partner are expected to give full disclosure of your financial situations.

Children are not automatically involved in the mediation but mediators have a special duty to encourage parents to consider their children’s wishes and feelings. The mediator can discuss how to talk to your children about the changes that will be happening and how to help them to understand those changes.

It is important that the views of the children are taken into account in issues that directly involve them. The mediators’ Code of Conduct provides that all children and young people aged 10 and above should be offered the opportunity to have their voices heard directly during the mediation. We offer child inclusive mediation if you would like your children involved in the mediation process.

Our policy is to speak to both parties before arranging appointments for mediation to ensure that you both understand the process. We will usually then meet you and your partner separately to determine whether mediation is appropriate in your particular case. If your case is not suitable for mediation this meeting will constitute a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) which is generally required before a party can start Court proceedings in relation to a child related or a financial claim on divorce.

Learn more about family mediation – how it works and what it covers – in our mediation podcast here.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

Why Use Mediation? →

Mediation has a number of advantages over the traditional Court process:

  • Almost any family dispute can be resolved in mediation including financial and housing arrangements on separation and divorce, issues concerning children such as where they will live, how often they will see each parent and their education, disputes between cohabitants and inheritance disputes. The process is extremely flexible and can be tailored to your particular needs.
  • Unlike the Court process where a judge will be appointed and the process is fixed, you choose the mediator and remain in control of the situation and the decision making process. This can lead to longer lasting settlements than those which are imposed by the Courts.
  • If you have children, mediation is a process which places the welfare and needs of the children at the heart of the decision making process.
  • Mediation can take place at any time and at any stage in the legal process. It is rarely too early or too late for mediation.
  • Mediation is considerably cheaper than any legal process.
  • Mediation can promote discussions and concessions that would not be possible in the Court process because it is a confidential process. Agreement is, therefore, much more likely.
  • The confidential nature of mediation also means that it is ideal for those seeking privacy and discretion.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

Our Expertise →

FLiP’s mediation team is one of the best in the country. Legal 500 UK has described FLiP’s mediation team as ‘pioneering and market-leading’ noting that Dominic Raeside, our Head of Mediation, is an ‘outstanding mediator’.

Watch Dominic in this video here describing how family mediation works and when it might be right for you. 

Types of mediation we offer

Our mediators cover all family issues ranging from divorce and separation (including finance and housing matters) to children matters (including where your child might live and contact issues, international relocation of children and schooling) and mediation in relation to pre- and post-nuptial, civil partnership and cohabitation agreements. They also offer preparation and support to couples about to embark on mediation with other firms or court proceedings. Our mediators offer mediation in relation to both domestic and cross border family disputes including international child abduction, access and custody cases.

We offer all types of family mediation including:

  • Sole and co-mediation. One or two mediators working together.
  • Child inclusive mediation. When child inclusive mediation takes place the mediator will, with the child’s consent, feed their views back into the overall mediation process. We have years of experience in this field and four of our mediators are trained in this area.
  • Civil/commercial model of mediation. We have four mediators trained in this area.
  • Mediation in cases involving child abduction. We have one mediator who is a specialist in this field.
  • Crunch-point mediation. This is intended for disputes which have reached a crunch-point when everyone knows the case should settle but cannot see how it can settle. Read more about crunch-point mediation here.
  • Hybrid mediation.

Our team of mediators

We have eight mediators including two of the top mediators in the country, Dominic Raeside and Ruth Smallacombe. Dominic and Ruth have a therapeutic background whilst our other mediators are family lawyers.

Our mediators are among the most experienced in the country. They hold memberships of both national and international family mediation organisations and take most of their referrals from the best family lawyers in London and the surrounding areas. Their track record for getting to lasting agreements and enabling couples to have good post separation relationships is second to none.

The strength in depth of our team of mediators and the range of skill sets that they draw on, from legal skills and the collaborative practice to therapeutic and counselling skills, adds real value to the support and insight that our mediators can bring to resolving complex family issues.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

Our Specialist Mediators: Child Inclusive & Hybrid Mediators →

Our Child Inclusive Mediators:

Find out more about Child Inclusive Mediation at FLiP here.

Our Hybrid Mediators:

Find out more about Hybrid Mediation at FLiP here.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Coordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

Examples of our Mediation Work →

  • Mediation involving a couple who were in their mid-sixties and had substantial assets. Over five mediation meetings the couple agreed their separation, initiated divorce proceedings and successfully negotiated all of their financial arrangements which were recorded into a binding financial consent order without the need for any formal court proceedings.
  • Mediation involving a dispute over schooling between parents who had separated a number of years earlier. It was agreed that the child’s views should be taken into account and a child inclusive mediation meeting was held with their child who was clear about their schooling preference. The results of this meeting were fed back to the parents who agreed to abide by their child’s wishes.
  • Mediation concerning the relocation of a mother with her young children to Australia. After a number of mediation meetings the father agreed to the mother moving to Australia and arrangements were agreed for scheduled visits and regular contact via Skype with the children
  • Mediation between a lesbian couple and a gay male friend who had fathered a child for the couple who had since separated. The father had a contact order but the child was refusing to visit. The father made an application to the Court for contact with the child. The matter was referred to mediation by the Court. The outcome of mediation was that the father withdrew the Court proceedings, the mothers agreed to encourage the child to begin to see the father again and the child agreed to see her father again.
  • Mediating a high conflict situation where the couple had separated several years earlier and had found it difficult to adjust emotionally and practically. The parents were in litigation about their children, finances and business interests and their children were in the middle of their disputes. After two mediation sessions, which addressed their conflict and lack of cooperation, the parents were able to focus on the needs of their children, who took part in a child inclusive mediation.
  • Mediating a couple who had been married but were now separated. Their only child had been born when they were in the process of separating. The mediation involved five sessions with careful attention to their divorce and transition to their new separated parent relationship. The mediation resulted in agreed arrangements for their baby and a financial plan was later incorporated into a consent order.
  • Mediating between separated parents with a young child where the father was threatening court proceedings in order to achieve 50/50 shared care. A comprehensive parenting plan was agreed with incrementally increasing time spent with the father over the next year and a review prior to shared care commencing when their child reached an agreed age.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

FAQ about Mediation at FLiP →

Wendy Hoare, our mediation coordinator, will be your first point of contact if you call or email enquiring about mediation at FLiP. Wendy fully appreciates that picking up the telephone to make that first call to enquire about mediation or sending that first email is a big step for anyone embarking on a process which they have, usually, never done before.

Here she provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions during that initial call:

  • What’s the cost of mediation?

The costs vary depending on which of our family mediators you choose to use. For example, Dominic Raeside charges £390 per hour plus VAT (per couple) for financial mediation and £320 per hour plus VAT (per couple) for child related mediation.

  • How long is a session/how many do we need?

Sessions usually last an hour and a half.  On average, we would suggest between 3 and 5 sessions will be required.

  • Do we have to be in the same room?

Not always. We offer shuttle mediation, where each party is in a separate room and the mediator will be go between rooms during the mediation.

  • If we agree things in mediation, is it legally binding?

No, however any agreement reached in mediation can become legally binding by the terms being made into a Consent Order and ratified by the Court.

  • What if I want to mediate but my ex doesn’t?

Mediation is a voluntary process and can only take place when both parties are willing.

  • Can the children be part of the mediation process?

Yes. Dominic Raeside, James Pirrie, Ruth Smallacombe and David Allison all offer child inclusive mediation as part of the process.

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

Our Awards & Rankings →

Recent awards for our mediation practice and our team of mediators include:

  • Family Law Dispute Resolution Team of the Year (Family Law Awards, 2020)
  • Legal 500 UK 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 & 2018 – tier 1 family mediation
  • Legal 500 UK 2018 – Specialism of the Year: Private Client (family mediation)
  • Family Law Awards Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year 2015 – Dominic Raeside
  • Legal 500 UK leading family mediators: David Allison, James Pirrie, Dominic Raeside and Ruth Smallacombe
  • Chambers UK HNW: leading family mediators/spotlight table: Dominic Raeside, Gillian Bishop and James Pirrie

To find out more about mediation at FLiP contact our Mediation Co-ordinator, Wendy Hoare, here.

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We have some of the very best mediators in the country. There’s no one better to handle your case.

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