• What will I be paying for?

    How much does it cost

    Assessment meetings / MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting):

    The initial meeting with a Mediator is called an assessment meeting. It usually lasts around 30 - 45 minutes. At the meeting we will check that we hold all your correct details, take some background information, explain the mediation process and see if you are eligible for Legal Aid. This meeting forms part of the pre application protocol procedure set out in the Family Court's procedural rules, and compliance with that procedure is required before proceedings can be issued. It's aim is to ensure that people are fully informed as to their options, and the benefits of mediation, before they issue court proceedings.

    Our fee for this assessment meeting is £50 plus VAT per party and this is payable on arrival on the day of your meeting.

    You should note that if we assess you or the other party as eligible for legal aid, the Legal Aid Agency will meet the fee for this meeting for both of you. Check with our admin team if you are not sure what you need to bring to be assessed for legal aid, and/or if you want to know whether the other party has been assessed for legal aid. We will have to take payment for the meeting initially however, until such time as all required income proof is provided.

    Mediator certification for court proceedings:

    If you decide to make an application to court, you may be required to get an accredited mediator to certify your attendance at a MIAM (see above), or that mediation is unsuitable, or that you tried mediation and it broke down. All of our mediators are authorised to issue this certification, on production of the relevant form by you (the court can provide you with the form you need).

    The charge for this certification is £50 plus VAT. It includes all administration work in processing the referral, contacting the other party if necessary and providing the certification.

    Mediation sessions:

    Mediation sessions are usually for 90 minutes. Sometimes, if the session is funded by the Legal Aid Agency, it may be for 60 minutes. You appointment letter should clarify this, but our admin team can also do so if this is unclear.

    If you have been assessed as eligible for legal aid, each of your mediation sessions will be free.

    If you are not eligible for legal aid, but the other party is eligible, you may be able to get your first session for free also, but this funding is available for a limited period from the Legal Aid Agency and so you should always check whether this applies to you. In addition, it only applies to the first session - after that you would need to pay for your sessions.

    Other than above, you will need to pay for each mediation session. The charge is £165 plus VAT per party per session.

    Payment is expected at the start of each session. You can pay by cheque, debit card, or credit card. Charges may apply for late cancellations.

    The session charge covers the session itself, the mediator's preparation for each session, telephone calls and letters both before and after the session, and all administration work relating to your case.

    Mediation Summary & Open Financial Statements:

    At the end of the mediation process, if agreement is reached, your mediator will prepare a Mediation Summary setting out the proposals reached. In financial cases this will often also include an Open Financial Statement setting out the financial disclosure provided by both parties in the mediation and any supporting documents. These documents are important and often required by solicitors who are advising you at the end of the process. In most cases you will need to attend a shorter, final session to go through, approve and sign off the Mediation Summary. These sessions usually last for 30 - 60 minutes and are charged at a lower session fee.

    The charge for providing a Mediation Summary is £60 plus VAT.

    The charge for providing the Open Financial Statement is £60 plus VAT.

    The charge for attending a session to approve and sign the Mediation Summary is £80 plus VAT.

    Child Consultations:

    Child consultation as part of the mediation process takes place with two mediators but neither parent present. These sessions are usually shorter than mediation sessions - typically around 30 - 45 minutes.

    Unless you qualify for legal aid, the charge for a child consultation is £80 plus VAT per parent.

    Am I eligible for public funding (legal aid)?

    We will carry out the legal aid assessment at the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

    Eligibility for legal aid is based upon the income and capital of you and any partner that you live with (but not the person with whom you will be mediating). To be eligible for legal aid the mediator needs to know what capital you have savings, equity in property, policies, bonds etc and also your income. In some cases certain fixed amounts of capital can be disregarded but we would go through this in detail with you when we carry out the assessment. Once we work out what capital we must take into account, if that captial exceeds £8,000 you will not be eligible for legal aid.

    Your income is assessed for the month prior to the date of your appointment and is based on monthly not four weekly figures.

    It includes all income from all sources eg salary/wages or drawings, benefits such as child benefit, tax credits, contribution based JSA or ESA, rental income, maintenance, investment income, money from family and friends. From this total we can only deduct tax & NI, rental or mortgage (not necessarily all of it) child care costs, maintenance you pay out and set allowance based on the number of children you have living with you and any new partner living with you. This total should come to less than £733 per calendar month.

    For more information on legal aid and mediation visit:

    www.legalaidmediation.co.uk

    If you wish us to assess for legal aid please bring the following to your assessment meeting. If you are living with a new partner you must bring all their information too. If you receive Income Support or income based JSA/ESA then the letter stating you are in receipt (and is income based) will suffice.

    Document showing proof of current income:

    • Gross salary - latest pay slip (five if paid weekly)
    • Maintenance paid or received (bank statement)
    • Income support information (benefits letter)
    • JSA/ESA letter confirming whether income or contribution based (usually page four of the letter)
    • Tax credit information (tax credit award…letter)
    • Child Benefit information (benefit letter)
    • Rent/mortgage paid (bank statement or letter or tenancy agreement)
    • Dividend/investment income
    • Pension - proof if Guarantee Pension Credit
    • Self employed - Bank Statement showing drawings
    • Child care costs - nursery invoice or bank statement