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Family Mediation in Coventry

Family Mediation in Coventry

About Direct Mediation Services in Coventry

We are a group of family mediators based in Coventry. We are accredited by the Family Mediation Council and are headed by Stuart Hanson, an award-winning mediator and member of the College of Mediators. As well as offering mediation services, Stuart also trains other mediators nationally.

Our team offer services both privately and through Legal Aid. We offer Mediation Information & Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) and general mediation to clients based in Leeds, both face-to-face and online. Moreover, as accredited mediators, we can sign your court forms, such as FM1 or C100.

Our fundamental role is to support families through changes arising through family restructuring, separation and divorce. Through our training and impartiality, our family mediators will support you and your ex-partner to effectively communicate and reach agreements as to future arrangements, rather than leaving this in the hands of the courts. We will support you to decide what is best for yourselves and your children.

During a divorce or separation, grandchildren (and grandparents) can find their lives dramatically changed. This could be as a result of reduced contact or even no contact at all with their grandparents. Family mediation can help at a time like this. We can conduct family mediation online or in person at our venue in Coventry, UK.

Why choose family mediation?

Approaching mediation can be difficult; it requires acknowledging the problem and taking positive action. Where families break down, communication can become very difficult, and so mediation is a tool that can support you in your decision to make changes to a difficult situation and find an agreement that is suitable for all parties.

Making initial contact with the mediation team is a big step. At Coventry Family Mediation, we offer both telephone and online contact as the first point of call, but please know that you can speak to the Direct Mediation Services at any time regarding the process and the promises we make to you as a client.

What can we help you with?

  1. Child Arrangements:

Where will my children live, and who with?

Are maintenance payments required? How much needs to be paid?

What are my children experiencing? How can I help?

  1. Communication

How can we productively minimise conflict?

How do we ensure we do our best for the children now we have separated?

How can we involve my new partner without further conflict?

  1. Financial and Property Arrangements

What happens to the family home?

What about the division of our assets?

What if I have cash flow problems?

Why is mediation a better choice for my family?

  1. It ensures the best interests of the children.

Undoubtably, when parents co-operate, children are benefitted for it assists in maintaining good family relationships.

  1. It can be much quicker than court proceedings

Mediates cases can save you around 325 days (10.5 months). Mediated cases take approximately 110 days, whereas non-mediated cases are, on average, 435 days.

  1. It can save you money

The National Audit Report (2012) found the average cost for a client using mediation was £675. This increased to £2,823 for cases going through court. Using mediation can save you, on average, £2,148.

  1. You can decide what is best for your family, rather than the court

A mediator supports you to find a solution agreed by you and your family. We will also support you to make any agreement reached legally binding.

  1. It is in safe environment and your confidentiality is respected

Meetings are held at neutral venues or a mediator’s office. All discussions are completely confidential.

  1. It is less stressful and results in less conflict

Mediation avoids the adversarial nature of the court’s system. There are no winners or losers; we look at the bigger picture and support you to reach an amicable agreement.

What is the mediation process?

  1. The initial meeting (MIAM)

Your first meeting, known as a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM), allows you to understand how mediation can support your family.  Here, you will be able to ask questions about the process and the accredited mediator will talk to you about your personal situation, wishes and feelings. This can be done either face-to-face at a neutral venue, or online using various platforms (Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom). The MIAM lasts between 45 minutes to an hour.

Your ex-partner does not attend the MIAM with you. We are aware many people worry about being with their ex-partner during mediation, especially where there has been previous animosity or there is no longer direct communication. Where this is stressful, we offer a type of medication called “Shuttle Mediation” to accommodate this (see point 3) – this is all issues to talk about during your MIAM.

At the meeting, you will discuss the following:

  • How mediation works;
  • Whether mediation is appropriate for you or whether a different resolution process is better, such as arbitration, collaborative law, solicitor negotiation, or court proceedings;
  • What benefits can be had through using mediation or a different resolution process;
  • The number of sessions that will be required;
  • The costs involved in using mediation; and
  • Eligibility for mediation funded through Legal Aid.
  1. Agreement to mediate

At the initial meeting, the mediator will explain the rules of the mediation room, all of which are explained in the Agreement to Mediate document. All parties will need to sign this document prior to the first session. You can ask your mediator to see a copy of this document at your MIAM.

  1. Different types of mediation

There are four types of mediation which the mediator will talk you through. Together you can decide which is best for your particular situation.

  • Sole mediation

Sole mediation is the most used type of mediation. It involves you and your ex-partner meeting together with a qualified mediator to discuss potential solutions. There are approximately three sessions; though this depends on the complexity of your case. Generally, sole mediation is quicker than shuttle mediation, being between 60 — 90 minutes.

  • Co-mediation

Co-mediation is available in cases involving more than two parties or where there are several issues requiring varying expertise. It involves at least two mediators. It is also helpful where there is significant conflict between parties.

  • Shuttle mediation

Shuttle mediation is used when you and your former partner wish to be in separate rooms. Mediator(s) “shuttle” between two rooms so that you do not have to engage in face-to-face communication with your ex-partner. Whilst shuttle mediation, unlike other forms of mediation, does not assist in improving relations, we are aware that there are times where such relations cannot be improved. As such, shuttle mediation is effective in ensuring safe negotiations Shuttle mediation is, however, more time consuming as compared to the other types of mediation.

  • Child Consultations

This allows any child involved in proceedings to talk with a child consultant mediator. Child consultations can only happen where the child, yourself, and your ex-partner all agree to allow it. Your child will not make decisions or choices; parental authority is always respected.

  1. The final outcome

Once you come to the end of the mediation process, your mediator will explain how to turn agreements into legally binding court orders. Proposals relating to children do not have to be made legally binding, though financial issues should be. Occasionally, mediation will not be successful in reaching agreements, so your mediator will discuss other options with you, such as court proceedings or arbitration. The mediator may signpost to another relevant professional (e.g., a pensions specialist), prior to any decision-making. However, please be aware mediators never tell you precisely what to do.

How much will family mediation cost in Coventry? 

This depends on whether you are eligible for legal aid or are privately paying.

  1. Legal Aid

If found eligible for legal aid, mediation is received at no cost. To be eligible, you may be on specific benefits or have low income. It is often available where you receive Income Support, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (income based), Job Seekers Allowance (income based) or Pension Credit. Occasionally, your former partner may be ineligible for legal aid whilst you are. In this event, the cost of the MIAM and the initial mediation session will be paid for by Legal Aid. Following this, your ex-partner will be required to pay privately. We are here to help on whether you are eligible for legal aid, though please know it takes 10 working days to process applications.

  1. Privately Paying

There are three options for clients who are privately paying:

An online MIAM appointment takes place within three days after booking. Your online appointment could be on your lunch break, or before the school run. Please speak with us and we will try and accommodate your needs to find a time that works with you. If you would prefer a face-to-face meeting, please let our team know.

Your job could interfere with attending a MIAM within office hours and this can be expensive. To accommodate this, online MIAMs can be in the evening or at weekends. This allows you to choose an appointment that works for you. Early morning appointments are also available starting at 7am so that you can do your MIAM prior to going to work or starting your day.

Sometimes you only need a MIAM certificate to complete a court form, and so we offer a 1-hour express service so that you can complete the process as quickly as possible. You can do this from home, work, or your lawyer’s office. We will deliver your MIAM online to you and immediately email the certificate once it is complete so that you can make the court application.

Once you have completed your MIAM, you will need to pay for your mediation session fees which are charged at £130 per person per hour. This payment is made before sessions by either card or bank transfer.

Family mediation in Coventry

Coventry is a major city and is an metropolitan borough in England, United Kingdom. The city is to be found on the banks of the River Sherbourne. Coventry has a long history and has been a city since the Middle Ages. The city makes up the Coventry and Bedworth Urban Area, and is run by Coventry City Council.

Historically Coventry was and is part of Warwickshire. The last census (2011) showed that Coventry had a population of 316,915, which in England made it the nineth largest city and the eleventh in the UK. It also holds the title of second largest city of the West Midlands, after Birmingham. The Meriden Gap separate the city from the conurbation of the West Midlands.

Coventry is found 19 miles from Birmingham, 25 miles from Leicester, 11 miles and is north of Warwick and finallty 94 miles from London. Interestingly, Coventry is known as the most central city in England. However, it is to be noted England’s centre geographical is to be found in Leicestershire. 

The most famous building in the city is Coventry Cathedral, which was originally constructed during the fourteenth century; however, it was bombed by the Luftwaffe in the Blitz of Coventry on 14 November 1940. On an industrial level, the British motor industry was mainly situated in the city and surrounding areas. Coventry boasts three universities: The University of Coventry found in the city centre, the University of Warwick and the small private Arden University, which has its HQ near to Coventry Airport.

In December 2017, Coventry was given the title of UK City of Culture 2021. The competition was fierce and the city beat Stoke-on-Trent, Paisley, Swansea, and Sunderland. Like many cities in the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a number of festivals to be cancelled.

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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