Costs and legal aid

Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

The initial assessment costs are as follows:

Individual assessment meeting (separately) 1.0  hour £95 per person
Joint Assessment meeting (both together) 1.5  hours £150 (£75 per person)

You may be able to receive free mediation if your financial situation means that you are eligible for legal aid. If either of you qualifies for free mediation, both the individual assessment meetings and the first joint mediation appointment will be free for both of you. To check if you might be eligible for legal aid, please use the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

If you think you might be eligible for legal aid please let us know. You will be seen by us, working with the National Family Mediation service www.nfm.org.uk to provide legal aid.  A full assessment of your eligibility for legal aid will be carried out at your first appointment.

Joint Mediation Session

The mediation session fees are as follows:

Joint mediation session 1.5 hours £160 per person
per session

It may be possible, depending on your circumstances, to arrange for a joint assessment meeting and a first mediation session to take place on the same day. This is a 3 hour process and costs £230 per person. This option will be discussed with you both if you are arranging a joint assessment meeting.

Paperwork

If you would like your agreement written up our costs are as follows:

Child arrangements
Parenting plan or Statement of Outcome £100 per person
Financial agreement
Open Financial Statement £160 per person
Memorandum of Understanding £160 per person

Further information about charges and payment

All fees for mediation are payable in advance by bank transfer a minimum of two working days before your appointment.  Alternatively you may pay in cash or by cheque on the day of the meeting.  However we will be unable to go ahead on the day unless payment is made.

Please note that if any appointments are changed or cancelled with less than 3 working days’ notice a fee of £50 will be charged.

How many sessions

The number of sessions that you will need may vary.  Generally if your mediation involves issues around children only, the average number of 1.5 hr sessions is two; if finances only the average is three. An ‘all issues’ mediation involving both financial and child arrangements takes on average five sessions.

How much would it cost to go to court?

The cost of going to court varies a lot but can be very expensive. You could face paying tens of thousands of pounds for a court case including litigation costs if you are legally represented. As a guide, to pursue court proceedings represented on a contested matter you may expect to pay upwards of £10,000 per person, per matter.

Are there any other costs for mediation?

We do not charge for the phone calls we make, emails we send, or other admin that we do for you.  No VAT is payable.

We do encourage people we see for mediation to take legal advice alongside the mediation process.  As mediators we are necessarily neutral in the process and we cannot therefore advise either of you.  You may find it helpful to have legal advice either before or during mediation. Solicitors’ charges vary and we suggest you check the fee with the solicitor before making an appointment.

On completion of the mediation process, everything that you have agreed in mediation is carefully written up for you by the mediator. In most cases successfully agreed child arrangements do not need further court orders and there are unlikely to be further costs. In the case of agreed financial proposals you may still want a solicitor to complete the process, but their charge will be for drafting an order based on what you and your ex- partner have already agreed in mediation rather than for lengthy negotiations on your behalf.