Can mediation help unmarried couples?
Yes. Mediation is for married and unmarried couples. It also assists same-sex couples.
Mediation is a service to help separating couples come to agreements in relation to decisions about their home, any other property, children, finances and the future.
As accredited mediators we specialise in supporting you and your ex-partner to make your own decisions, rather than going to court and having a Judge make them for you. Mediation can be an effective, cheaper and quicker alternative to court, it is certainly less stressful than the court process.
Relationship breakdown can be a very emotional and stressful time making it particularly difficult to agree decisions in relation to living arrangements, finances and arrangements for children.
The law that exists for married couples isn’t all available to help unmarried couples so it can be confusing and worrying for couples trying to understand what issues need to be looked at and how decisions are made. We can provide all the information you need to make informed decisions about how to reach an agreement.
Mediation is focussed on helping a separating couple to co-operate with each other in working out mutually acceptable arrangements on all or any of the following:
- Co -parenting children
- Education, schooling or medical issues
- Family holidays and special occasions
- Financial support
- What to do about the family home and any other property
- How to share jointly owned assets
- Other problems related to the separation
The role of the mediator is to:
- Remain impartial
- Create a climate in which neither party dominates meetings so that both parties participate fully and in good faith
- Create and maintain an atmosphere of co-operation and respectful communication
- Help couples deal with difficult emotional issues that can prevent them reaching agreement
- Help couples reach an agreement that they both find fair and acceptable
- Ensure that the voice of the child is heard during the mediation process, helping to minimise any damage to the children caught in the middle of parental disputes. This is called child inclusive mediation and mediators must have additional qualifications to do this type of work
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process but there is a structure and formula in how it is delivered. The issues discussed depend on the needs and wishes of the separating couple.
With the help of a mediator, the couple systematically consider each issue, explore their options and come to decisions. The parties are encouraged to get expert advice such as legal or financial advice before being held to any agreement reached. Certain agreements can be made into court orders if that is necessary.
The type of agreements that may be reached include:
- Comprehensive agreements: which cover all issues resulting from the separation including finance, parenting, accommodation etc
- Parenting agreements: which address co-parenting issues and plans for the future
- Financial agreements: which cover the finances and assets of the couple
- Interim agreements: where the parties make an agreement for a specific time frame
- Partial agreements: which addresses a particular issue or issues
Mediation usually takes between 3 and 5 meetings. Each session lasts approximately 90-120 minutes.
Before a couple can come to mediation together, they each have to have a confidential MIAM (Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting). Our MIAM meetings cost £126 inclusive of VAT and more information about these meetings can be found on our website – www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk
Once in joint meetings, which are now mostly done using Zoom, we charge £220 per hour plus VAT and this is often shared by a couple so that they each pay £110 per hour plus VAT. Face to face meetings can be arranged but there would be an additional charge.
We offer a free initial call to answer any questions you may have about the mediation process. Booking those calls can be done on our website or call us on 0800 206 2258 or email us at email@example.com.