What is family mediation?
It can be a very painful and sad time when a relationship ends and trying to work out new living arrangements, financial agreements and family responsibilities can be difficult. Whilst it’s inevitable that emotions will run high, it’s important to have a neutral and safe environment where you can make decisions together about your future. Your family solicitor may suggest that you explore mediation.
Mediation helps to give you perspective, clarity and a facilitated level playing field to explore ideas and empower you both to make decisions for yourselves and your children.
Family mediation is a voluntary option that enables couples to find an alternative to lengthy, intrusive and expensive court appearances. It isn’t an alternative to legal advice and a mediator doesn’t tell couples what to do but, instead, the process helps individuals to reach an amicable agreement and improve levels of communication.
If you both find it difficult to come together to talk without arguing, a mediator can help to calm a tense situation by encouraging you to explore the options available.
We understand all this
We understand the sadness that can affect you. And often the anger too. But we’ll help you look beyond the emotions to your future, so you can plan the way forward positively.
I would highly recommend Bird Belderbos & Mee, the staff are very friendly and polite, telephone calls are always dealt with promptly and appointments on time. You never feel rushed. I dealt with James Belderbos who is very caring and understanding and got me through a very difficult time. I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for me.Mrs C. Barrow-upon-Soar, Leicestershire
How could family mediation help you?
Life can be complicated, but it can be reassuring to know that there are solutions available to make a difficult situation much easier.
Instead of a judge making decisions about your family, you can determine the path you all want to follow by participating in family mediation. It’s a much kinder and more compassionate environment for discussing the long-term needs and emotions of you and your children than the bleak setting of a courtroom. After all, a judge doesn’t know your children, you do. As parents, you keep control of the process and without the time delays and enforced timetable that a court process would bring. A settlement, created in mediation and agreed by both of you, can create a less expensive and less stressful solution better suited to your long-term needs.
Family mediation isn’t …
Whilst family mediation can offer many things, it can’t offer couples therapy. Your mediator isn’t a relationship councillor or a marriage guidance therapist and he/she isn’t there to help repair your relationship or prevent a divorce or separation. Neither will your mediator take sides in an argument or be biased towards one half of the couple.
If you believe that someone’s safety is at risk or if there has been evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, family mediation may not be appropriate.
Financial situations, such as bankruptcy, may be complicated and your disputes may require advice and expertise not covered by family mediation.
However, if you’re unsure whether family mediation is right for you, your mediator can help you decide. They will explain how to fill out the appropriate court form so that you can explain to a judge why mediation is not suitable for your circumstances.
What happens in mediation?
An initial Assessment Meeting with a mediator gives both you and your partner an opportunity to explore the idea of mediation and how it might be able to help you. If you’re going to make an Application to the court for a Child Arrangement Order or Financial Relief Order, an Assessment Meeting is usually compulsory.
Once you’ve decided that family mediation is a useful way forward, you could expect to attend 3 mediation sessions, lasting between 1-2 hours each. However, fewer or more sessions may be required depending on the complexity and number of issues being discussed.
When all parties have agreed to take part in mediation, they would, in normal circumstances, meet together at a mutually convenient time. However, whilst current coronavirus restrictions prevent this, our trained mediator, James Belderbos, is able to offer video meetings via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This means that mediation can be conducted safely, in line with government covid-19 guidelines and you won’t face delays in arranging your mediation sessions.
Who will be our mediator?
Family mediation services are offered by James Belderbos at Belderbos Solicitors in Rutland, for couples who are looking to overcome the difficulties they face during separation and divorce.
James has over twenty years’ experience as a lawyer. He is a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer and received his training from Resolution. Mediation training by Resolution is approved by the Family Mediation Standards Board. James is registered as a mediator in Rutland with the Family Mediation Council (FMC) and offers in-person mediation and online mediation services in Oakham and throughout Rutland and Leicestershire.
An FMC registered mediator guarantees that you are receiving help and guidance by someone that has been appropriately trained and is fully qualified. FMC registered mediators follow the FMC Code of Practice. They are supported by a Professional Practice Consultant (PPC) and they are fully insured, offering a complaints process if something goes wrong.
James also provides family mediation services on behalf of other solicitors in England and Wales who need an experienced, qualified and supportive mediator to help their clients.
How much does mediation cost?
Initial mediation meeting – MIAM – £147.00 plus VAT (£176.40) per person
Mediation Meeting – £140.00 plus VAT (£168.00) per person per hour
We do not undertake publicly funded work such as Legal Aid
What if I choose not to use Family Mediation?
No-one is going to force you to use family mediation services. If you decide that mediation isn’t right for you, you won’t be made to take part. Even if you start the mediation process, you can change your mind if you feel it’s not right for you.
However, it is worth considering the consequences. You will still need to make arrangements for yourselves and your children. Some conversations with your partner may bring up awkward questions. Researching and understanding all the options available to you can be confusing and it could be that an unbiased family mediator may be just the help and guidance you need at this difficult time.
Whatever you are facing, start here
If your concerns about the situation keep you awake at night – or go round and round in your mind, talk to us. With our calm, knowledgeable advice, you will go away with answers that help you to make informed decisions – and not worry about things you don’t have to. We can then use our extensive experience to create a solution that works hard to achieve the best outcome for you.
Call James on 01572 490 660 or complete a Free Online Enquiry today to arrange a meeting to discuss your family concerns and find out what your options are. As a lawyer with over twenty years’ experience, a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer he will provide you with peace of mind. After the meeting you will have the help and support to enable you to move forward confidently.
“I just wanted to send a personal thank you to you for the professional and expert way in which you dealt with the mediation. I believe you have been instrumental in not only the saving of many thousands of pounds of costs but also have reduced the emotional trauma that was deeply affecting my Client.”A Solicitor