Please contact us if you have a problem which has not been covered by these FAQs. We will endeavour to help you with your legal issues.
Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Most frequent questions and answers
The process of mediation may seem confusing, especially as it is compulsory in a minority of cases. However mediation can assist you in many ways since we can inform you of legal issues and help resolve disputes between your family. Here are some FAQs explaining the process of family mediation and the people it can assist.
Simply put, mediation is an intervention in a dispute. However many people come to mediation willingly in order to try a resolve the issue, usually the legal issue, that has arisen. It needs to be helpful to the dispute and not confuse matters.
It’s important to gain help in disputes, especially if they concern your children. Another strong area of discussion tends to be concerning money, especially dividing money among relatives. Before going to the courts it is best to look towards mediation.
Though cases tend to be about a couple and their children and possibly the children’s grandparents, friends of the family are welcome to attend if they feel they have something to add to the case.
We deal with any cases before they go to court. Some of them may be neighbourhood disputes.
Items tend to involve the custody of children, which includes matters such as contact orders and residence order, as well as a prohibited steps order. We can also help create a parental responsibility order. Before any orders are put into practice, we would need to arrange a mediation session.
These may involve but are not limited to: Dealing with debts, the sale of a house, pensions and unit trusts as well as over savings and investments. We can advise over any business assets and overseas homes. We can also help with difficult wills and other aspects of inheritance.
Debt mediation involves negotiating with your creditors to see how your arrangements may be settled. It is an entirely voluntary form of mediation on your part. We may be able to offer mediation to court cases linked to debt or bankruptcy.
Firstly, not all pension schemes are the same, we can advise on dealing with the more dubious ones. We can assist if you wish to complain to your pension provider or if you are having difficulties and to retire early due to ill health. There may be problems due to a lack of employer’s contributions or a pension scheme finishing early.
As with any other loan, if you are having trouble paying your mortgage, mediation can help. Benefit advice may be necessary as well as information on how you deal with your creditors, especially if you are worried you are about to be repossessed. It is always a good idea to contact your lender who may extend the terms of your mortgage or accept a reduction in payment.
Problems might arise with the contents of a will, the lack of a will or deceased people named in wills. A forum to air your views before going to court may help matters. As with anything else, a mediator cannot impose an outcome they can only facilitate the discussion.
We can advise you on how you can make savings and the safe ways to make investments. A report in 2009 showed that mediation resulted in a saving of 76%, as opposed to those who did not use mediation services. Other times when people may need help with savings may be after an inheritance or deciding where to invest a child’s funds.
Usually they are holiday homes which can also be regarded as an assets. Although overseas homes may have been exempt from tax including stamp duty, changes in 2015 mean that money may now need to be paid on these properties. It depends whether you own the home personally or it is some form of trust. It is always a good idea to look at all your assets, whether they are in this country or elsewhere.
Yes, divorce or any relationship split can mean that assets are divided between you and your partner. We endeavour to act as peacemaker in this circumstances as well as giving you the right advice. Our intention is that you and your partner reach an amicable agreement.
Not necessarily. You can attend on your own if you so wish and still go to court, it doesn’t affect whether your case is heard.
It will take approximately 45 minutes or so to go through all the information about the mediation process.
After the Mediation Informal and Assessment Meeting, the adviser will say whether or not the case you have put forward allows for mediation. If it is, you will be advised where to go next. We will guide you through the whole process. Remember this part is just a general assessment at this stage.
You will be issued with a form to sign to say that you have attended the MIAM. You will now be able to issue proceedings. If you feel circumstances have changed through the case, please consult us and we will review the process.
If the problems can be resolved out of court it is better all-round. Many cases need some form of mediation even when they are in the process of going through the courts. There are so many sources of potential stress, especially when it affects children’s lives.
Parental responsibility is when an adult takes responsibility for a child including their food, clothing, education and well being. A mother automatically has parental responsibility. If a father is married or has been married to the mother and/or his name is on the birth certificate then he also has parental responsibility. A father may also gain parental responsibility if he gains either a parental responsibility order or a residence order from the court or he adopts the child.
Only if they are appointed guardian when the parents dies, have obtained a residence order from the court or have adopted the child. Otherwise, they would not be eligible for a parental responsibility order.
From about 12 or 13 a child is asked their opinion. A child at a younger age may have a preference, but may not be listened. At age 16 a child can decide where they live unless the conditions of a residence order or child arrangements order forbid it.
At the age of 18 no residence order or child arrangements remain valid.
This is an emergency order to decide which parent looks after the child while a full hearing is being made.
Neither, the mediation process is voluntary. Should you decide to choose to resolve your dispute through mediation, you pay.
We are completely impartial, we can’t take sides in divorce cases for instance. Any information said to us will remain confidential. We are also fully trained and offer a trusted service.
We should add a disclaimer here, there are exceptions. We will tell the correct agency if it seems that a child’s safety or well being is significantly threatened, or an adult’s safety or well being.
We can help guide you through the process, whichever part of the UK or the world you live in. We also offer telephone mediation. In many ways Skype mediation or telephone mediation is exactly the same as usual mediation. Please note we cannot carry out a MIAM mediation over Skype.
Skype is a form of telecommunications which provides video and voice chat between users. It usually work between computers, laptops, iPads and mobiles.