The cost of mediation can be a big concern. However, it is a much better option than going to court. It can also save you thousands of pounds and make it far quicker to sort out arrangements. This is particularly important when it comes to children and finances.
Mediation costs vary according to your case and what issues you want to resolve. For example, if you are mediating child arrangements and financial issues it is likely that you will need to attend more appointments than if you were only mediating money matters. It is also worth noting that some mediators charge by the hour, others by the session and others have a fixed fee package. Generally, family mediation is cheaper than going to court and often less stressful.
It is a confidential and bespoke process and is designed to help parties find a solution to their dispute that suits them. Unlike a court, which makes a decision for you, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process where parties are encouraged to work together. Unlike arbitration, mediation is not a formal hearing and the outcome of a mediation cannot be enforced by law.
Most people who participate in a mediation find that they are able to resolve their issues in two or three sessions (each usually lasts one to two hours). As a general rule, it is best not to attend a mediation with predetermined “bottom lines” as this can hinder your ability to profit from the process. Instead, it is advisable to remain open to new ideas and possibilities.
After each mediation session the mediator will write up a note of what was discussed and agreed which you both get a copy of. This will be the basis for your legal proposals should you wish to have them drafted into a formal agreement by a solicitor. In many cases successfully agreed child arrangements and financial proposals will not need further court orders and therefore no further legal fees will be incurred. However, if you decide to use a solicitor for this purpose, they will charge for drafting an order on the basis of what you have agreed in mediation.
In some cases, a solicitor may be required to act on your behalf at a particular stage in the proceedings for example, when requesting an interim order. This is normally only where there is a specific dispute or issue relating to children or finances. In these instances, it would be more beneficial for you to attend mediation in the first instance so that your solicitor can provide you with advice based on what you have discussed in mediation.
If you have been referred to mediation by the courts, it is possible that you will be eligible for a voucher contribution towards your mediation costs. This is limited to a maximum of PS500 per family/case. Please contact Adrienne at the Devon & Exeter Mediation Practice to discuss this further. mediation costs uk