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Preparing for family court,

Why use mediation for divorce?

If you’re looking to solve any differences between you and your ex-partner following divorce or separation, using mediation can help you come to a mutual agreement. The process has many benefits, including:

  • Improves communication
  • Offers access to pragmatic and impartial advice
  • Helps both parties make informed decisions
  • Quicker and more cost-effective than court
  • Reduces conflict, stress and anxiety
  • Allows you and your ex-partner to take control of the situation rather than a judge deciding the outcome
  • Can help with legal and non-legal issues—for example, setting boundaries on parenting

Mediation works best when those participating have received independent legal advice from specialist family mediation solicitors. You may also seek advice from other professionals, such as pension experts and accountants, if required.

Why choose Stowe Family Law for divorce mediation lawyers?

  • We’re the only national law firm that’s fully dedicated to family matters. We’re proud to have a team of over 80 specialist lawyers.
  • We understand that each family circumstance is unique, which is why we offer an empathetic and tailored approach to each case.
  • You can expect clear and concise communication at every step of the process, so there’s no need to worry about having to understand complex legal jargon.
  • We’re fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and listed in The Legal 500.
  • Stowe Family Law have been shortlisted for several awards. We were named Family Law Firm of the Year by the Hampshire Law Society and at the Yorkshire Legal Awards.
  • We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot and have received hundreds of positive reviews.
  • Our website has a selection of resources to support you through difficult divorce and family issues.

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0330 056 3171

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Family law mediation FAQs

Family law mediation FAQs

  • What happens during mediation?

    Firstly, a mediator will meet with each party individually so they can explain their point of view without the presence of an ex-partner. This allows you to have an open and honest discussion, outlining any concerns you may have and what you’d like to resolve through mediation.

    Having these initial meetings helps to build a relationship with the mediator and prepares you for the joint sessions. You can choose how you’d like to run these sessions, whether that be face to face or via video call. Each party is given an equal opportunity to speak and be listened to.

  • Do I need to prepare anything ahead of the mediation process?

    It’s important to think about what you want to get out of the mediation process before you start. Identify the issues on which you and your ex-partner are struggling to agree and make sure to discuss these during the joint meetings.

    You’ll need to fill out a financial disclosure form if you’re trying to reach an agreement on issues relating to money or property. You’ll have to provide all your financial information, including:

    • Your income
    • What you spend on living costs
    • How much money you have in bank accounts
    • Any debts you owe
    • Any property you own

    You’ll likely be sent this form ahead of your first mediation appointment. Alternatively, you can collate any relevant bills and bank statements to take to the initial meeting.

    • It’s worth noting the importance of being honest when it comes to discussing finances with your ex-partner. Details that have been hidden may result in any agreements becoming invalid, and your ex-partner might decide to take you to court.
  • How much does mediation cost?

    While mediation isn’t free, it’s a cheaper alternative than going to court. You can discuss the exact cost of the process with your divorce mediation lawyer.

    It’s advised that the cost of mediation is split between both parties. This is to ensure that both you and your ex-partner have equal contributions to the sessions and are satisfied with the outcomes. The fees can be paid for via a joint account or savings, or as part of a financial agreement.

    Alternatively, it’s worth checking if you’re eligible for legal aid to cover the costs. While Stowe Family Law are not contracted with the Legal Aid Agency, it is available in certain circumstances, including family mediation.

  • What happens once we've come to an agreement?

    Once an agreement has been reached, your mediator will write a ‘memorandum of understanding’. This is a document that confirms your agreement in writing; both parties will receive a copy.

    If your agreement is relating to money or property, you should take your memorandum of understanding to a solicitor, who can then turn this into a ‘consent order’. That way, you can take your ex-partner to court if they don’t abide by the rules of the agreement.

  • What if we can't reach an agreement through mediation?

    If you find that you can’t come to an agreement with your ex-partner, we recommend you talk to a specialist solicitor who can advise you on what to do next.

    If you’ve tried mediation but still disagree on issues relating to money or property, a mediation solicitor will likely suggest sorting things out in court. However, if the disagreement relates to your children, the solicitor may advise that you keep trying to reach an agreement between yourselves.

    There are still options for you if you’d rather avoid going to court. For instance, you could consider a ‘collaborative law’ session, where you’ll work with a solicitor to reach an agreement.

    You could also try family arbitration. This is where an arbitrator – similar to a judge – will come to their own decision on the things you and your ex-partner can’t agree on.

  • What should I do if my ex-partner won't come to mediation?

    We understand that emotions run high following the breakdown of a relationship. While many couples will want to come to an agreement about children or finances, some may find this more difficult than others.

    Mediation is a voluntary process, so you cannot force your ex-partner to contribute if they don’t want to. If they are reluctant, it’s worth trying to convince them to speak with a mediator first before making a decision. This can help them understand how the process works and whether it is suitable for them.

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