Before bringing couples together for mediation I will always have a separate, confidential meeting with each of you. This meeting is commonly referred to as a MIAM which is short for Mediation Information and Assessment meeting. Save with limited exceptions, you are expected to attend a MIAM before you make an application to court and the other person is also expected to attend a separate intake meeting. If mediation doesn’t start or it breaks down at any point then as an accredited mediator I can sign your court application form.
The MIAM usually lasts for no more than hour. It gives you a chance to find out more about how mediation and other out of court processes work. At the meeting I will explain what you can expect from mediation and what is expected from you. You will have time to tell me about what’s going on for you and if appropriate, I can signpost you to other services that might be helpful.
The cost of an individual MIAM is £100.
Most couples who work with me want help in sorting out arrangements for their children and/or making financial decisions about their assets.
In financial matters I will guide you through the financial disclosure process and then help you both to explore options relating to your assets, reality checking possible outcomes against your aims.
In children matters I will help you to put your children first, focusing on what their experience of the separation may be and thinking about how you can parent effectively together in the future. This commonly involves thinking about the time the children will spend with each parent, how the practical arrangements will work and how you will communicate in the future.
Parents often find it helpful to think about a Parenting Plan to cover different eventualities. A sample plan can be found on the Cafcass website on my resources page.
Children can feel powerless when their parents separate. Decisions are often made for them without anyone asking for their opinion. They will often have worries of their own, feeling anxious, isolated and sometimes caught up in the tension between the two people they love most. If you both agree, then I can help you to arrange for your children to meet a specially trained Child Inclusive Mediator. I will explore this with you and explain how the process works.
It’s common to need between 3 and 5 joint mediation sessions. These sessions commonly last 90 minutes and cost £390 for the full session.
Mediation usually takes place without solicitors attending. However, it can sometimes be helpful for solicitors to come along to one or more sessions and to participate in a useful and appropriate way. This will not happen without consent of all concerned. When it does happen the length of the mediation sessions may vary and my fees will be quoted accordingly.
During the current Covid-19 pandemic I have been using Zoom to mediate using video rather than having face to face meetings. My intention is to return to face to face mediations as soon as it’s safe and practical for everyone to do so.
My fees for video mediation are no more than my usual fees.
There is an additional cost for the preparation of documents during and on completion of the mediation. These may include an Open Financial Summary setting out the factual financial circumstances, a Memorandum of Understanding summarising agreements reached and a Parenting Plan.
(Legal aid is available for mediation although I don’t have a franchise to offer this. If you think you may qualify for legal aid and I can refer you to a different mediation service.)
PPC support for mediators
I became a Professional Practice Consultant in 2016. By regularly coming together with my supervisees I aim to provide practical support and mentoring to other mediators. I, along with my supervisees, meet twice a year for group and individual supervision. To enhance our learning I will sometimes invite another professional with complimentary skills to join us at the meetings.
Sharing ideas, discussing and debating helps us all to evolve our practices and to become the best mediators we can be.
In between meetings I’m available to speak on the telephone or to deal with queries by email. This can include checking documents, supporting you through accreditation, acting as a “sounding board” or talking through challenges in your daily practice.
“Sandra has been a wonderfully supportive PPC on my mediation journey. She has helped me with some very challenging scenarios in the mediations I have dealt with so far and given me the confidence and tools to know I am capable of managing difficult clients and scenarios in the sessions. We worked together to successfully achieve my accreditation. Sandra was generally invested in the process and my success. She had a real eye for detail in the presentation of my portfolio and ensuring it met the requirements of the FMC. She encouraged me not to give up with it even when I was feeling frustrated with the process. Her group sessions are always enlightening and helpful, and I really value her feedback in our one to one sessions too. Being new to mediation Sandra has helped me make achieve accreditation, gain confidence and build a successful practice quickly.”
If you’re looking for support alongside your mediation practice then please get in touch either by email or phone.