Do you offer legal aid?

We are not able to offer legal aid. If you think you might qualify for legal aid for mediation there may be a branch of the National Family Mediation service near to where you live who you can contact about this.

Will I be given legal advice?

Although most of our mediators are also qualified family lawyers, they cannot give legal advice in their role as a mediator, which is an impartial role. You will be given information about the powers of the court and possible orders, but are encouraged to seek independent legal advice alongside the mediation process.

What is a MIAM?

MIAM stands for Mediation Information Assessment Meeting. This is a one to one meeting with a mediator, who is qualified to conduct MIAMs, where you will be given more information about how the mediation process works, will be able to ask questions and can be assessed for suitability for mediation. Since April 2014, all those wishing to make certain court applications are expected to attend a MIAM (with limited exceptions).

Is there any court involvement?

The court is not involved in the mediation process. If, however, you reach an agreement, this can be recorded in a court order (by consent) provided that there are court proceedings. At this point, a Judge would need to approve the terms of any settlement.

Is it legally binding?

All discussions in mediation are ‘without prejudice’ (with the exception of the financial disclosure). This means that any decisions which you make are not binding on you and cannot be referred to in the event of subsequent court proceedings, which frees you up to explore more options.

If you reach an agreement through mediation, this is recorded in a document called a Memorandum of Understanding. You will each take this document to your respective lawyer in order to obtain advice and, if you decide to proceed, your lawyers will draft formal documentation incorporating the agreed terms. It is only at this point that the agreement will become legally binding.

Do I have to sit in the same room as my partner?

There are a number of different ways that mediation can take place. At Reading Family Mediation we prefer to work with you together in the same room rather than having separate meetings with each of you.

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Can my children come?

We believe your children are a central focus in the mediation process and we will actively encourage you to consider their wishes and feelings. Although we do not offer direct consultation with children, we can recommend you to others who offer this service if it is agreed between you that this is appropriate.

Do I have to be getting divorced?

You do not have to be getting divorced for mediation to be appropriate for you. It may be that you are separating from your partner, but are not yet divorcing, or that you have never been married.

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How long does it take?

Each mediation appointment will usually last for 1½ hours and it is not unusual to need at least three or four meetings, and sometimes more, before reaching a satisfactory conclusion. The number of meetings that are required is likely to depend on the nature of the issues you wish to discuss.

How does it work?

Mediation involves a series of joint meetings between you and your ex/partner and the mediator. There will be an opportunity to discuss with you both the issues you wish to resolve and to explore solutions that could be put in place.

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Why should I choose Reading Family Mediation?

All our mediators are experienced in helping people settle disputes. As specialist family lawyers, we deal with complex financial matters on a daily basis and have the necessary experience to understand and explain financial scenarios. We regularly work with other professionals such as accountants, surveyors and actuaries whose services can also be called upon should it become necessary to obtain expert input within the mediation process.

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Self referral

Once you have made contact with one of our mediators, you can download a referral form here to complete and send to the mediator. 

Download Self Referral Form

Solicitor's referral form

If you are a solicitor referring a client to Reading Family Mediation, please download and use this form to send to the mediator you have spoken to.

Download Solicitor's Referral