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The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about mediation services.

What is mediation?

Mediation separates the individuals from the problem. It enables people and organisations to solve problems and resolve disputes through conversations managed by a neutral mediator . The mediator will also provide legal and other information, clarify issues and ask questions. Depending on the type of problem and depth of conflict, mediation might take place over a single day or over a series of shorter meetings over a course of weeks or months.

What types of problems can mediation help to resolve?

Mediation can help a couple agree on the financial element of their relationship breakdown. It can help separated parents sort out arrangements for their children. It can help adult children discuss the needs of an elderly parent, and an elderly parent explain their needs to their adult children. It can help organisations sort out disputes with customers or other organisations. It can help separated couples decide on the future living arrangements for their pets. It can help sort out neighbour disputes. Mediators have, over the past fifty years or so, helped to end wars in the Middle East and international disputes, such as Brexit. If you have a problem, chances are that mediation can help you solve it.

What happens during a mediation session?

The mediator creates an agenda by asking the participants what they want help with. Then the mediator will suggest some steps which in their experience are best to follow. These steps ensure that the participants move most swiftly to a point where they will be able to make  informed decisions. The mediator will manage the conversation, ask questions, provide information, clarify any issues and reality rest any proposals. 

How is the cost of mediation services determined?

The cost depends on two factors: the background hourly rate and the number of meetings. To keep things simple we charge a fixed price for each meeting, rather than charge by the hour. This provides certainty over the cost. The price covers the mediator’s preparation time, the meeting itself – typically 90 or 120 minutes – a written summary and all routine emails and phone calls.  Each participant typically pays their own share. For more details about our prices please contact us or visit our pricing page.

What is a MIAM?

A MIAM is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. They are required by court rules. Most people who want to make an application to a family court have to attend one. They can only be provided by authorised mediators. The purpose of a MIAM is to provide a potential court applicant with information about the different ways in which their dispute might be solved, as well as details about the duration and cost of those ways. The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM with the same mediator.

Who may benefit from mediation?

Married couples, unmarried couples, parents, families, businesses, partnerships, organisations, neighbours, and most others with a problem or dispute.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediators are trained to help people solve problems and resolve disputes. They help people focus on the problem or dispute, not on the personalities. Mediation leads to better outcomes. By this we mean that the outcomes are agreed by the participants and not imposed  on them by a court. Outcomes tend to be reached more swiftly. The court process tends to take 8-24 months depending on the application being made. Mediation typically takes 2-5 months, Also, meditation is considerably less expensive than using solicitors. On average it will cost around only 6% of what two participants might spend together on lawyers in a divorce financial dispute, or in a parenting dispute.

What is the difference between Lawyers and Mediators?

Lawyers are trained in the law. Mediators are trained in problem solving and dispute resolution. Few of the problems presented to lawyers feature a dispute about the law that needs a judge to make a judgement. Most problems actually centre around a breakdown in communication. Helping people communicate better is the essence of mediation. At Start Mediation, our mediators practisced first as solicitors before training in mediation. We’d like to think we can offer the best of both professions.