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Family Mediation in Liverpool

About Direct Mediation Services in Liverpool 

Our accredited team of mediators in Liverpool is lead by Stuart Hanson. An award winning Family Mediator in all areas, Stuart is recognised by the FMC as well as being a part of the national College of Mediators. Stuart also gives mediator training across the country.

Direct Mediation provides Legal Aid and Private online Mediation information & Assessment Meetings (MIAMS) as well as face to face sessions in the Liverpool area and nationwide. The team of certified mediators can provide signed C100 and FM1 forms for the courts.

If your family has experienced any changes due to divorce, an adjustment in family roles or separation, the team of family mediators can offer support and effective assistance in communicating between you and an ex-partner on making future arrangements that suit you, without the court involvement.

We have a team of family mediators who are experienced in working with grandparents following a divorce or separation within a family. You can book privately or apply for Legal Aid. Our specialist mediators will meet you at our venue in Liverpool Family Mediation or online.

Why choose family mediation?

Getting to the stage of Mediation can be difficult as you are admitting that there are issues that cannot be solved within the family alone and communication is becoming difficult and by choosing mediation you are positively acknowledging the want to change the situation to suit everyone involved. We understand that the initial phone call can feel quite stressful, so we give you the option to book a meeting online, all while knowing that you can speak with a member of the team and Direct Mediation Services about the mediation process, our services and our promise to you as our client.

There are three main areas that family mediations can help with:

Child arrangements

Where will the child live and with who? Will they need maintenance and what amount? Are the children emotionally supported?

Communication

How can conflict be reduced? After separation, what can we do for the children that is best? What can we do to ease the integration of a new partner?

Financial & Property Arrangements

Will the family home be affected and what will happen with assets? Can I manage cashflow after a separation?

There are a few reasons why mediation may be the better choice for your family:

It is in the children’s best interests – There is a positive effect when there is co-operation between the parents, it helps to retain the relationships within the family.

Mediation can be quicker than court – The average mediation for families takes 110 days, in comparison with 435 days for cased without mediation. On average, the saved time with mediation adds up to 325 days/10.5 months.

In a private environment it can make agreements easier to make – Meetings are always private and confidential and are held in a neutral venue or the mediator’s office.

There is less conflict and stress with mediation – without taking in the full account, the courts can work in an antagonistic way, putting the parties against each other looking for a ‘winner’.

Instead of the courts making your decision, it is in your control – our family mediators can help you reach a solution which benefits your family, enabling you to make a legally binding agreement most importantly.

It normally turns out cheaper than a court visit –  Per client the average mediation cost was £675, as reported in 2012 by the National Audit Office. Cases going to court however shows an average per client cost of £2.823, meaning your saving on average adds up to £2,148.

If there has been friction with your ex-partner, arguments or no communication, it is understandably a worry when the chance of a face to face meeting occurs. In advance of the joint session both parties are invited to an individual MIAM (Mediation information & assessment meeting) where you are able to ask the family mediator about the process ahead and your current personal situation. We have the option to do these face-to face and online which last 45 – 60 minutes. The following information details the different processes for mediation.

The family mediation process 

Mediation can feel like a step towards the unknown for some people. We have detailed the process into four simple steps to ease the understanding and show the benefits for your family.

Initial meeting with a mediator (MIAM)

Your initial meeting with the accredited family mediator gives you the chance to learn how the meetings can help your family situation. The meetings tend to last 45 – 60 minutes and can be held on an online platform such as Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom or Face – to face. Our appointments held online can be arranged on the same day as your enquiry. You will cover the following areas in the meeting –

  1. How mediation works for you and what it is.
  2. Deciding if mediation is the right route for the family for dispute resolution, or if it is best to go for solicitors, arbitration, collaborative law or court.
  3. How family dispute resolution and mediation can benefit you.
  4. The number of sessions that may be required.
  5. The costs involved in using mediation.
  6. The assessment of your eligibility for Legal Aid/publicly funded mediation.

Agreement to mediate

During the first mediation session your accredited family mediator will firstly detail the workings of mediation and the protocols within the room. A document called Agreement to Mediate details more on this. A signed version of this will be required from your ex-partner and yourself prior to the session taking place. You can ask for a copy from your Mediator prior to the session during your MIAM.

Different types of mediation

The family mediator will talk with you about which are best for your situation.

  1. Sole mediation

The most common mediation form is a joint discussion between you, your ex-partner and the mediator. There is usually three mediation sessions on average but this can vary if there are complex or multiple issues between the two parties. Sole Mediation sessions tend to be shorter compared to shuttle mediation which can last between 60 – 90 minutes.

  1. Co-mediation

At least two mediators are involved with co-mediation. This can be suitable where more than two parties are disputing and if there are multiple issues that need a range of expertise. It can also be useful if you and your ex-partner have raised tensions and conflict between each other.

  1. Shuttle mediation

Shuttle Mediation is a third option for mediation and is needed when you and the other party choose to be in separate rooms to each other. The mediator will instead ‘shuttle’ to the two meeting rooms and negate the need of a face – to -face discussion. This route may not improve relations compared to the other methods of mediation but it does provide the certainty of safe negotiations with the mediator. However, this method does take significantly longer compared to sole mediation and co-mediation options.

  1. Child Consultations

A mediator that is qualified as a child consultant can, with consent from both you, your family and the child, talk with your child in this approach. The accredited mediator will not ask your child to make decisions and choices where the authority of the parent is questioned. You can learn more if you click here.

The final outcome

When the mediation process comes to an end, your mediator will discuss and explain how best to approach legal advice relating to any agreed proposals and how to turn them into an agreement that is legally binding or if a court order is required. Proposals that need a court order tend to be required where financial issues are concerned, whereas child arrangements should not need to be. If in the end an agreement cannot be found, your family mediator will explain the other options to follow such as court proceedings or arbitration. While your mediator would not tell you what to do, they may advise dealing with another applicable professional, a pensions specialist for example, before any decisions are made.

What will family mediation cost in Liverpool?

There are two options:

  1. Legal Aid
  2. Privately paying

Legal Aid

Should you be entitled to Legal Aid, you will be able to obtain mediation free of charge. Legal Aid can be available if you are on certain benefits, for example, Income support, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance & Job Seekers allowance (income based) and pension credit. If your ex-partner does not qualify but you receive Legal Aid, the MIAM and first session cost is settled by Legal Aid. After the first session your ex-partner will pay privately. A member of the team is on and for you to talk to and see if you qualify. It is worth noting that the processing time for Legal Aid applications can take 10 working days, there is not a fast route for Legal Aid.

Privately Paying

Your MIAM within office hours £130 BOOK NOW

Our clients are promised a MIAM online session in the first three days of scheduling. We do our best to offer a booking to fit in your daily life, it can be before the school run or during a lunch break to ensure it suits you. Please tell our staff if you would prefer a face-to face booking.

Early Morning/Evenings/Weekend Online MIAM £180 BOOK NOW

We appreciate that during work time, it can be difficult to attend a MIAM and to take time of work can be costly – this is where our online MIAMs can be scheduled for evenings and weekends. It allows you to book an appointment to suit your daily life. We can also offer appointments from as early as 7am if you would prefer your MIAM to take place prior to your daily routine beginning.

Online MIAM within an hour £180 BOOK NOW

Sometimes all that is needed is the MIAM certification to finish the application form for the court, we therefore have an express a 1-hour service. This can take place while you are at a lawyers office, at home or in the workplace and we can arrange the MIAM online straight away, emailing the certificate after the session allowing you to do the application for the court.

Mediation Session Fees £130 per person per hour

Our costs for Private Clients are simple, the hourly fees are £130 per person at the mediation sessions. We require payment to be made by bank transfer or card before the session takes place.

Our family mediation centre in Liverpool

Liverpool is one of the norths most famous cities and is in the metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England. The city is the 10th-biggest English district by population, and the largest city in Merseyside and the surrounding region. Liverpool is found within the UK’s 6th-most populous urban area. The city’s metropolitan area is number five in the UK with an estimated population of around 2.24 million.

The city is found to the east of the Mersey Estuary and is said in history books to be within the ancient hundred of West Derby. This is located in the North West of England’s county of Lancashire. In 1207 it was awarded borough status and later in 1880 city status. The borough in 1889 finally became a county borough in its own right. As time went by the city became a major port and expanded even further during the Industrial Revolution. There is a darker story in the history books of Liverpool and that is of the slave trade. In the 1800s, the port became a place of departure for people going to North America. Most famously the Cunard and White Star Lines were based in Liverpool and the following ships were regularly welcomed in days gone by RMS Titanic, RMS Queen Mary, RMS Olympic and RMS Lusitania.

Liverpool is a very popular tourist destination in the UK. It is well-known also for its architecture, culture and transport links. However, most tourists come to the city to see where the Beatles pop group came from. The Beatles are said to be the most famous music band in history. The city has also been home to many other well-known musical acts. An interesting fact is that musicians from the have had 56 number one hit singles, which is a world record! Liverpool just seems to be a hub also for comedians, actors and actresses, athletes, novelists, artists, journalists and poets. Interestingly Liverpool a huge number of museums, art galleries, listed parks and listed buildings; only London, has more than Liverpool. Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City also has the well-known Albert Dock, the Pier Head and William Brown Street. Football fans from across the world also know that the city houses two internationally famous clubs Liverpool and Everton. The two clubs are affectionately referred to as the Merseyside derby. Another sporting event is the Grand National, which happens at Aintree Racecourse.

In 2004, some areas of Liverpool’s city centre were granted the status of being a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  Parks in Liverpool have been deemed the “most important in the country” and are on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. The city embraces many cultures, but mainly from Ireland, Wales and Norway. It is also known as the oldest black community in the United Kingdom and the oldest community of Chinese people in the whole of Europe. People from Liverpool are called “Liverpudlians” or “Scousers”, which is a reference to a form of stew eaten by sailors from the city. “Scouse” also become the name for the local dialect and accent. In 2008 Liverpool became the European Capital of Culture. This title is shared with Stavanger (a city in Norway).

Direct Mediation Services

Direct Mediation Services is a trading name of The Intelligent Solutions Group Ltd. The company is registered in England and Wales.  Company Number 7760633. VAT registration number 334 8141 12. Our company’s registered address is 5 Carla Beck House, Carla Beck Lane, Carleton, Skipton, BD23 3BQ.

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