Family Mediation is an alternative to Court proceedings and is used to help separating couples resolve issues such as;
- Agreeing the basis of divorce or the terms of separation;
- Sorting out the division of finances and assets;
- Establishing the living/contact arrangements for children.
Our mediators are totally impartial and offer you a safe, neutral place where you and your partner can meet to work out plans for the future. Our mediators will not tell you what to do but will help you look at different options for sorting things out, so that you reach your own agreements about all aspects of your separation, divorce or dissolution, including arrangements for children, finances and property.
Mediation doesn’t replace good legal advice; in fact we’ll encourage you and your partner to seek independent legal advice at every stage of your separation or divorce.
How does Mediation work?
It starts with a short information meeting following a self referral or one arranged through a solicitor. You can attend the meeting on your own or with your former partner, dependent upon your personal circumstances. Our mediators will explore with you the background to your relationship, the issues you wish to cover and record this.
If you attend this first meeting on your own, our Family Mediators will then contact the other party and ask whether they would be willing to attend mediation and a similar exchange of information takes place. Future dates are then arranged if you both want to take part in mediation.
As the mediation process develops, we will work impartially with both of you to explore the issues, hopes and concerns you have identified that require resolution.
At any time during the process you can consult your solicitor, and you would be encouraged to do so if appropriate. Once you feel you have reached a level of understanding and agreement on the issues raised in mediation, you are encouraged to take your proposals, recorded in a Memorandum of Understanding, to your respective solicitors. This information is legally privileged which means it cannot be shared with anyone else without your agreement. This Memorandum can be used by your solicitor to obtain a legally binding order.
How long does Family Mediation take?
Mediation sessions last up to 1½ hours and on average the total number of sessions required ranges from 2-5 sessions.
Who does Mediation help?
Not all cases are suitable for mediation. Cases involving domestic violence or abuse where one party feels threatened would not be appropriate. It is however recommended for any separating couple going through a divorce or separation and is ideal for resolving disagreements over children, or dividing property or pensions.
How much does Mediation cost?
We understand that many other firms have a range of hidden fees, but with Gepp you’ll find our mediation fees reassuringly transparent: you only pay for direct contact time with our mediators.
Where does Mediation take place?
Mediation is provided at Gepp Solicitors’ central Chelmsford office where there is a dedicated mediation suite. For directions and public transport information please see our website.