Family mediation is a voluntary process for people who are looking for an alternative way to resolve the issues that arise within families.
It’s an opportunity to talk in a safe and neutral environment with a qualified mediator present. The aim is to help people find solutions that meet the needs of all members of the family without “winners” or “losers”.
Our mediators Jo Shortland and Glynne Davies have a wealth of experience in all aspects of family mediation. Jo is a partner here at Oliver Fisher Solicitors; she is a collaborative lawyer and a family mediator, and a member of Resolution. Glynne is fully accredited by the Family Mediation Council and the LSC, and a member of the College of Mediators Professional Standards Committee.
Family mediation is a safe environment for discussing any issue within the family, including:
Everything you say in mediation will be confidential, unless it relates to the proceeds of crime, or child protection issues. Mediation is also legally privileged which means you are free to discuss options without them being used in court if mediation breaks down. This privilege does not extend to financial information that you provide as part of the process.
The mediator has a duty to make sure that all parties feel safe before deciding whether mediation is suitable. They will discuss your concerns with you in confidence. There are safeguards that can be put in place (for example, mediation can take place with you in separate rooms), but ultimately if mediation cannot be made safe it will not go ahead.
Mediators can give you general information about the way the law works. However, they cannot give you individual legal advice. Mediation works best when each party has access to a solicitor in the background to provide advice and support throughout the process.
Mediation generally lasts for 1 – 2 sessions for children’s issues, or between 3 – 6 sessions where property and finances need to be discussed. On average each session lasts an hour and a half.
If you are eligible for public funding, mediation will be free of charge. Your solicitor can refer you to us under the Funding Code, and we will do an assessment for you at a free information meeting. If you are not eligible for public funding, our fees are £150 for a MIAMS/FM1 meeting, and £275 per hour for mediation co worked by Glynne and Jo.
To enquire about mediation, please click here.