What To Expect When You Contact FLiP About Family Mediation
Wendy Hoare, our mediation coordinator, explains how she approaches your first contact with FLiP.
I have been the mediation coordinator at Family Law in Partnership for just over 20 years, working closely with our Head of Mediation, Dominic Raeside, and the other members of our mediation team. I’m the first point of contact when new clients call or email enquiring about mediation and I’m very aware that how I interact with the client on that initial call is vital.
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. I make sure that I am calm, friendly and approachable, outlining the key information in a clear and helpful way. I am always mindful not to overload callers who can feel overwhelmed by taking that first step to seek help.
My aim is to provide reassurance, comfort and clear guidance so that the client finishes the call feeling that FLiP is the right firm to help them navigate their way through the changes happening in their family, and that they will be in experienced, capable hands.
I’m often asked, “What are the most frequently asked questions during that initial call?”. So I’ve set a few examples out here:
- 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.
Once I’ve answered these questions, the client is then ready to have a call with one of our family mediators. They will discuss your current situation and concerns in more detail, and explain how mediation can help you to move forward.