Mediation and Negotiation Solicitors Romford and Dagenham
If you lack the confidence to negotiate directly with your partner, we can help you do this through either negotiating on your behalf or through mediation. Negotiation is really helpful where things are very emotional and you may find it difficult to talk without emotions getting the better of either one of you. If so, our qualified team can help you resolve matters quickly and cheaply without going to court. Indeed court aside from the costs, the timetable is set by the court and court cases can increase tensions between you.
Mediation is FREE if you qualify for Legal Aid.
Our children-first approach means we try and achieve a solution which puts the interests of the children first. At Milner Elledge, we try and keep relations between you amicable, avoid the stress of court and find a fair solution for everyone involved.
Family Mediation takes place in our offices at 29 High Street, Romford, in a neutral setting that is calm and relaxed but also safe. Appointments are arranged at different times to safeguard each of you. Appointments are suitable for anyone, married or unmarried parents and children who want to sort out practical issues following separation or divorce, for example, the arrangements for children and financial arrangements. It also works for extended family members such as grandparents.
Family Mediation improves communications between parties. This is particularly important where the care and upbringing of children are involved. It is often less stressful, quicker and more cost-effective than going to court. Mediation has the advantage of being a flexible process that can be used to settle a variety of disputes and can help to reduce tension, anger and misunderstanding that can arise during this difficult time for you. Most importantly, mediation can be used whether or not the parties have seen a solicitor and proceedings have begun.
You will be helped by a qualified mediator who will assist you in resolving your differences without taking sides. He or she and sometimes two mediators co-mediating will guide you by providing legal information to reality test your suggested solutions and also practical information including details of other support services that may assist you. No settlement is imposed on you as the process is entirely voluntary and so you need to be happy all along the way for the solution to be right for you.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Whilst mediation is confidential, if during the course of it there is a risk of either party or child getting seriously hurt, or one person could be committing a criminal offence such as fraud, then the mediator has an overriding duty to stop the mediation and tell the police or authorites. Other than that, everything discussed remains confidential between the parties and the mediator until open proposals are reached at the end. Consequently, if mediation doesn’t proceed whilst factual information such as property and financial details can be passed on, you cannot use what is said against the other person.
Family mediation can be used to help settle:
- Your mediation sessions will involve you both agreeing to follow a procedure guided by the mediator at all times. At the start of mediation, you’ll both be encouraged to say what you each want, and need to discuss. These things may differ but you’ll be encouraged to agree an agenda of issues to discuss and to decide what’s most important to discuss first.
Your mediator will talk through the possible options with you both jointly. You’ll agree which options are best and which make the most sense in terms of a fair outcome. Our mediator will give you a written record of your proposals developed.
Mediation sessions are structured and ground rules are followed to help create an atmosphere of trust, helping you to talk and find solutions which you both accept.
At an intake meeting or MIAMS (mediation information and assessment meeting), we’ll talk to you about the following things – the session will be about 15 minutes each.
During the intake sessions we will:
- Tell you about the costs involved if you want to proceed with mediation.
- Check whether there are any Domestic Abuse issues, social services involvement or health issues that we need to be aware of, to make sure that you’ll feel safe during the process, you have the support you need and we can assess whether mediation is suitable.
- Assess what type of mediation is best for you – do you have children and money to sort out, or just one of these things.
We won’t proceed with arranging any mediation sessions unless both you and your partner or spouse agree. If mediation is unsuitable, the mediator will provide your solicitor with the relevant forms to take the matter to court.
If you do both agree, we’ll set a date with you both for the first session. You will both be asked to sign the agreement to mediate together with the mediator which will lay out yours and the mediator’s responsibilities during the process.
If following your intake meeting or MIAMS you both decide you want to try family mediation to help you sort out the issues which arise from family breakdown, our mediation sessions will be structured and will create a safe and professional space for you to talk things through in the presence of a mediator.
Memorandum of Understanding and Open Financial Statement
If you are successful, a privileged summary called a Memorandum of Understanding is prepared which will record the mutually acceptable proposals for settlement of matters discussed and will outline the context in which those proposals have been reached. It can be shown to your respective solicitors but it cannot be shown to the court unless you both consent to the same.
In addition in financial cases, an Open Financial Statement/Summary of your financial circumstances will be produced. This document will include all the financial documents you have both disclosed during the process. This is an open document and can be used in subsequent court proceedings should mediation not resolve issues between you.
Contact our Family Mediation Solicitors in Romford or Dagenham
If you would like to discuss mediation options and would like to use our family mediation service in Romford or Dagenham then contact us today on 01708 763463 for our Romford office or 020 8984 0940 for our Dagenham office. We are here to help you.