Talk & Resolve’ MEDIATION

Let’s turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones! We will help you take a step in the right direction by offering assistance to get the talking started and focus on what really matters to you, in order to resolve difficult issues following separation.

Separation and divorce is an emotional and upsetting time for families. It is often difficult for couples to talk to each other when relationships breakdown and emotions are running high. Important decisions can therefore be difficult when communication and trust disappear. At ‘Talk and Resolve’ we understand that talking ‘face- to- face’ can seem the hardest thing to do and we therefore provide a helping hand to get the talking started; promoting positive communication, which is the key to reaching practical solutions.

With Talk & Resolve Mediation, we aim for you to retain ultimate decision making power and for you to choose your path, instead of allowing the courts to take control; thus ensuring that participants reach an agreement and work out a solution to their problems which is acceptable and tailor made to suit the needs of those in dispute. At ‘Talk & Resolve’ we have a future-focused approach, as we help clients move on from the difficulties of the past to find their own solutions for the future.

‘Leave behind the struggles of the past and commit to move forward.’
At Talk & Resolve we acknowledge that this is an important outcome to achieve, especially if there are children in the family. Family Mediation at Talk and Resolve provides the best opportunity to explore and agree workable future arrangements that address the needs, concerns and priorities of the clients and their family.

We can help you avoid bitter court battles and build a constructive future for you and your family with clear guidance about what options are available and help all clients realise that court is not the only option.

So, don’t be torn apart by court orders, let our mediator at Talk and Resolve help you choose your own path, take control of your own situation and make decisions together.

The Mediator:

Manjit Kaur Gill, a Specialist Accredited Family Mediator at Talk & Resolve Mediation is also an Accredited Family Law Solicitor (member of the Law Society Family Law scheme), with over 22 years family law experience.

The Law Society’s Family Law Scheme of which Mrs Gill is a member, is an accreditation scheme for Lawyers who have demonstrated special knowledge and experience in handling the complexities of divorce and separation. This gives Mrs Gill unrivalled insight and enables her to apply her knowledge to assist in effective mediation.

Mrs Gill is also a member of Resolution. Resolution is an organisation of Solicitors who provide a constructive, non-confrontational approach to Family Law matters and who believe that Family Law disputes should be dealt with in a way designed to preserve people’s dignity and encourage agreement between the parties. These are the principles which Mrs Gill adopts in all aspects of her Family Law work, including Mediation.

Mrs Gill can help you to find a way to plan for the future and to agree what will work best for you without having to go to court. That can save you time, money and stress. Mrs. Gill has an approachable manner and is sensitive to the challenges faced by those dealing with separation. Mrs. Gill’s specializations include assisting clients with arrangements for children, parenting plans, improving communication and helping clients find financial solutions following separation. Her knowledge of family law, her skills as a mediator and her experience of the emotional aspects of separation is critical in helping separated couples find solutions.

Also able to communicate effectively in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu this means that not only will you save on the costs of an interpreter, but Mrs Gill’s unique position and experience with clients enables her to deal effectively with a diverse range of cultures/nationalities.

The Mediator can help separating couples to:

    • Resolve all issues following separation more quickly than going through the Court process and at their own pace
    • Keep the costs of separation to a minimum
    • Separate with minimum distress
    • Focus on what is important to each of them and their family
    • Keep control of their family decision- making rather than leaving it to an outsider
    • Focus on keeping their children’s needs at the heart of the decision making process
    • Minimise conflict wherever possible
    • Put in place workable long lasting arrangements for their children
    • Resolve financial and property issues following separation

Family Mediation

What is Family Mediation?

Mediation takes place by way of agreement and is a voluntary process in a safe, confidential environment which is informal, yet professional.  It enables those taking part to explain their concerns and needs to each other in the presence of a professional mediator, with the aim of finding a mutually acceptable and workable solution. The participants reach their own informed decisions following meaningful discussions and negotiation, managed with sensitivity and professionalism.  The mediator, who is strictly neutral, assists the couple or other family members to reach decisions that are workable both in the short and the long term.  The discussions in mediation are confidential (save for concerns about child protection).  Mediation often produces creative, tailored solutions which are likely to lead to more satisfactory arrangements for all concerned.

Mediation sits firmly at the heart of the family justice system and is now becoming the preferred method of resolving disputes caused by family breakdown. The Government has acknowledged that in comparison to the court process, family mediation is generally cheaper, quicker and less acrimonious, thus avoiding the need for a prolonged legal battle and mounting legal fees.

Who is Family Mediation for?

Mediation is for anybody who has conflicts concerning the family’s children, parenting, finances or general struggles to make good decisions at a conflicting and difficult time.

Help can be provided to:
• Husbands and Wives who are separating/divorcing
• Couples who have been living together; Co-habitees,
• Parents who divorced/separated some time ago and are having continuing issues with their ex – partner about child or children
• Parents of children who have never lived together but need to resolve issues concerning child arrangements and their needs
• Civil partners who are separating
• Gay couples who have cohabited but who do not have a Civil partnership
• Extended family members (grandparents/ step – parents/ close family members) who have issues that need resolving regarding children.

At what point in the separation process can Family Mediation be useful?

Mediation can take place at any time during the dispute:

01.

Before the issue of Court proceedings;

02.

During Court Proceedings;

03.

Before a Final Hearing; or even

04.

After the Final Hearing if an Appeal is pending

Mediation can prove to be equally as useful no matter which stage it is commenced at.

Important points to note about Family Mediation

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution and negotiation. Family Mediation is not a counselling service as Family Mediators do not try to get the parties to get back together. Instead, we help the parties to iron out misunderstandings and to resolve feelings of anger and stress.

Mediation has 4 principles:

01.

It is voluntary; courts expect families to attempt mediation before litigation begins but no-one can be forced to mediate. Also, the mediator cannot impose an agreement. Any resolution or settlement is therefore by the consent of the parties only.

02.

The Mediator acts as an impartial and independent person who attempts to facilitate negotiations between the parties and assist them to achieve a settlement. No legal advice is given and the mediator does not take sides.

03.

It is a confidential process (with limited exceptions). Any proposals put forward in mediation cannot be referred to in legal proceedings unless privilege is waived by way of consent from the participants

04.

The clients are in charge of their own destiny

Types of Family Mediation work undertaken

      • Mediation resolving disputes relating to the arrangements for children including parenting plans, finance and property, communication and any other matters that are important following the breakdown of the relationship
      • Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings
      • Mediation with solicitors or other relevant professionals in attendance

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How does Family Mediation Work?

Initial assessment (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting – MIAM)

A separate, confidential meeting will take place with each of you to explain in more detail what mediation is and how it works. This meeting enables you to ask questions freely about the process and ensure that you understand what it is before you decide whether to proceed.  In some cases it may be more convenient to have these meetings on the phone, in which case you would then be seen briefly before the first mediation.

You will have the opportunity to explain what the issues are for each of you and your family so that a view can be taken as to whether mediation is the most appropriate way forward. If you are not eligible for Free Mediation, the costs of mediation will be explained to you. Provided mediation is suitable and you both wish to proceed, a mediation session will then be arranged at a time that suits you both.

First and subsequent Mediation sessions

You will both need to attend this meeting and generally you will be sitting together in the same room. If you prefer to sit in separate rooms, suitable arrangements will be made so that this is possible. During the first session, you both decide what issues you would like to resolve in mediation. This becomes your agenda. During the first and subsequent mediation sessions relevant information will be gathered to enable you both to make informed decisions, whether relating to finances, your children or other issues.

You will explore options together, to enable you both to decide which options would give you and your family the most satisfactory and long lasting solutions.

With regards to your children, it is not unusual to struggle with parenting after a relationship has broken down. Parenting is challenging at the best of times. Parenting effectively after separation can present new, sometimes tougher challenges than before. During the Mediation, you will discuss and find positive ways of dealing with these challenges together, to ensure that your children make this transition with you, with the minimum of distress. Any arrangements that are made in respect of children should focus on the children as individuals ensuring whenever possible, that their needs and concerns can be met.

With regards to finances, the process of gathering financial information can feel daunting. You will be helped in doing this as effectively and quickly as possible.  Confusion can be clarified, misunderstandings can be explained and legal information can be provided where necessary. Having explored the possible options you will work towards finding a solution that can work for each of you and the family.

Final session

Once you have addressed what is important to you both and to your children and reached joint decisions about how you wish to resolve any parenting or financial issues, your decisions will be incorporated into a formal document for you to retain.

As the discussions in Mediation are confidential, they are not legally binding on you.

The formal document will enable you to take further legal advice should it be appropriate or should you wish to do so. In some circumstances, for example, when resolving financial arrangements as part of a divorce, it is recommended that you ask your independent legal advisors to incorporate your decisions into a document that can then be put to the Court to make your decisions legally binding. This will be discussed with you fully during mediation.

How does Family Mediation work? - Children

Children

Receiving the right support following separation can make all the difference to how parents and children cope after separation.

Family Mediation can help parents work together to provide their children the support and secure base that they need, thus maintaining stability and routine in their lives. At Talk & Resolve clients are helped to move on from being parents who live together to find a good working relationship as parents who live apart. This is an important transition process and brings benefits to the whole family.

What is Child Focused Mediation?

To enable the best arrangements to be put in place for children post separation, the Mediator will provide general information to both parents about:

01.

How children cope with parental separation

02.

What children might need from parents to help them cope

03.

How parents can protect their children from parental conflict

04.

How to manage and minimise parental conflict

Additionally, the Mediator will help both parents to:

• Focus on their children’s needs as well as their own
• Assist parents to put in place arrangements and parenting plans that can work for all the family in both the short and the long term
• Consider options from their children’s perspectives as well as their own
• Make the shift from parenting together to parenting apart and to make that transition as smooth as possible for the benefit of their children

How does Family Mediation work? – Finances and Property

It is a difficult decision to divide your property and capital after divorce or separation. It can often feel as though there is no ideal solution, options are limited and that achieving a fair solution is impossible as both parties may have had an acrimonious separation and may not have had any communication for years. Not knowing how you are each going to manage after divorce or separation increases stress which can in turn increase the conflict between you. This is likely to then have an adverse effect on your children.

Family mediation is a quicker, cheaper and less acrimonious way of resolving financial issues following divorce or separation. Mediation works in the shadow of the law, which means that you will both need to provide full and frank financial disclosure of all your assets before being able to consider productively what your options might be. You would need to provide full financial details whether you resolved matters through mediation, your solicitors or the Court. The difference is that in mediation you both go through this process together which makes the process quicker and more efficient.

The mediator helps you to consider all available options and work through these together so that you reach a solution that you both feel can work. As neither of you can be forced into making any decisions, the end result is that your final decision will be one that you have made together. Consequently you are both more likely to feel that the outcome is fair. When a decision is made by the Court, it often feels like one person is the winner and the other the loser.  Sometimes both people can feel that they lose from a Court decision.

In summary, Family Mediation can help you both to:

• Work out how to resolve any financial aspects of your separation;
• Gather your financial information as quickly and efficiently as possible;
• Explore a range of options prior to making decisions;
• Test the viability of options to ensure that any final decisions taken are workable for everyone;
• Understand the steps that you need to take to make your final decisions legally binding

Costs

• Each client will be assessed to see if they are eligible for free mediation.

• If clients are not eligible for free mediation, costs will be charged as follows:

• Initial telephone call assessment – free of charge.

• Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) – £90 per hour per person

• Provision of a signed court form (C100 or Form A) – £60

• Mediation sessions – £150.00 per hour per person

• Paperwork – £150 per hour per person

• Evening and Weekend Appointments – POA

(Fees can vary and will depend on where you would like your mediation to take place and how many participants will be involved).

At the conclusion of mediation, if finances are involved you will need a summary document of all your financial information. In addition you will need a formal document known as the Memorandum of Understanding which summarises your discussions and the decisions that you reached in mediation. It is this document that your solicitor would use if you wished any decisions to be made legally binding.

A typical mediation covering all issues of finance and children may be concluded in 3-6 sessions, over a 2-3 months. In comparison a family case resolved through the court system could take between 6-18 months with costs in the region of £5,000 – £20,000 per person (and in some cases they can be considerably more).

Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAM)

Who should attend a MIAM?

Anyone thinking about using mediation as a way of resolving disputes following a relationship breakdown, separation or divorce would benefit from attending a MIAM.

If you are considering making an application to Court in respect of a financial dispute or arrangements for your children it is a requirement that you attend a MIAM before making your application. There are a number of exemptions to this that the mediator, your solicitor or the Court can explain in more detail.

What happens in a MIAM?

The Mediator will explain how mediation works and whether it is appropriate. Other dispute resolution options will also be considered, such as collaborative law or arbitration. You will be asked to provide enough information that will enable an assessment to be made as to whether mediation is suitable in your circumstances.

This assessment is generally made once you have both been seen.  In some cases it might be more suitable for you to use one of the other dispute resolution options such as solicitor negotiation or the Court, in which case this will be discussed with you.

What happens next?

If you are the person wishing to make an application to Court and require the requisite Court form, you must first attend a MIAM. The Mediator will then contact your former partner and invite them to a similar information and assessment meeting. If your partner is not willing to attend a MIAM at all, or discuss Mediation or if Mediation is unsuitable in your circumstances, you will be provided with a signed FM1, C100 or Form A which will enable you to proceed to Court should you wish to do so.

If you both wish to attend mediation, a first meeting will be arranged on a date and time to suit you both.

Get In Touch!

KENT
63 Windmill Street
Gravesend, Kent
DA12 1BJ
Phone: 02039747407
Email: info@talkandresolve.co.uk

BERKSHIRE
Unit 1, 10-14 High Street
Slough, Berkshire
SL1 1EE
Phone: 02039747407
Email: info@talkandresolve.co.uk