Fleet
Phone +44 (0)1252 622 422
Guildford
Phone +44 (0)1483 320114
Email info@watson-thomas.co.uk

FAQs on Family Mediation & Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law

Can anyone use collaborative law services?

It is most suitable for those who are able to sit down with their spouse or former partner face-to-face, but it does not mean you have to agree on all issues upfront.

Is collaborative law cheaper than using the court process?

Usually the costs are much lower than going to court.

How do I start the process of collaborative law?

Give us a call to discuss your situation. We can advise on all aspects of the process and then suggest that your former partner or spouse also consults a collaborative lawyer. We will then set up the first collaborative meeting by speaking or writing to the other party involved or their lawyer.

What happens after the collaborative law process is complete?

Arrangements relating to children or finances can be drawn up into a formal documents by the lawyers involved. In matrimonial finance cases a consent order is submitted to the court for approval.

Agreement can also be reached on divorce or judicial separation proceedings, and the documents can be drawn up by the collaborative lawyers involved. You will receive advice and support at all stages of the process.

 

Family Mediation

Can anyone use family mediation services?

Family Mediation is suitable for many, but not all family disputes. If you have concerns about domestic violence or emotional abuse from your former partner or spouse, you may need the protection of a court order. Please talk to us if you are concerned about your circumstances.

Is family mediation cheaper than using the court process?

Generally the costs are much lower than going to court and they can be shared between the parties involved in the mediation.

Am I required to go to family mediation before going to court?

Mediation is a voluntary process and so no-one can be forced to mediate a family law dispute.At present, you are required to attend a ‘Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting’ (known as a MIAM) before you file court proceedings.This meeting gives you information, and the mediator can assess whether your case may be suited to mediation.

How do I start the family mediation process?

Call us to discuss whether family mediation may be right for you.We can then arrange to see each participant in the process individually before the first joint session. Both of you will speak to the mediator prior to the first meeting and receive a letter explaining the process.

You will need to complete a Referral Form and an Agreement to Mediate before the first joint meeting. 

What happens after family mediation?

At the end of the process we will prepare a detailed summary of the proposals reached, which you can have made into a legally binding agreement or court order. The outcome of a mediation is recorded in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding,’ which is a confidential document summarising the progress you have made in meetings.

You will also receive a full financial summary, known as an Open Financial Statement, if your family mediation concerned financial matters. Following mediation, you will be encouraged to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor before formalising any binding legal agreement. Attending family mediation can make dispute resolution much faster.