How Much does Mediation Cost for Child Arrangements?
Mediation is regarded by the courts as an efficient, cost effective way for families to resolve child arrangement and custody disputes by looking at the different options. It is quicker often taking weeks rather than months within the court system. Mediation is designed to be a less stressful process too. The Mediation process is flexible and the outcomes are specific to the needs of each family and the arrangements more dynamic than a Court can often provide when asked to decide the same issues. The costs of represented court proceedings on children matters, often runs into several thousand pounds, an average would be between £3-10,000.
Disputes over who cares for a child/ children, can be Mediated for FREE, for those who are financially eligible.
To receive FREE Mediation you must satisfy the criteria determined by the Legal Aid Agency (known as the LAA) and provide proof of your financial circumstances. This includes proof of yours (and your partner if you are living with someone):
- Capital including interest in any property including the property value and any associated mortgage, savings, investments
- Expenditure including child care costs, mortgage or rental payments and maintenance
- Income from all sources including wages, benefits, gifts, loans, maintenance
If you are eligible for Free Mediation you will not have to pay:
- Your Assessment (MIAM) will be FREE.
- The other party’s Assessment is free (even if they do not qualify themselves!).
- Your Mediation sessions will also be FREE.
- The other party receives their first session FREE.
- You can apply for FREE Legal Help with Mediation from a solicitor if undergoing a Mediation Process.
Check eligibility by using the online calculator www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid . You can be assessed for FREE Mediation at any time, this is important should your financial circumstances change.
If you aren’t eligible for Free Mediation is a cost effective process.
The private costs associated with Mediation are:
- £100 plus VAT for each Assessment (MIAM).
- £120 plus VAT per hour, for each participant, for Mediation Sessions and preparation of documents reflecting arrangements. A Session is normally lasts 1 ½ hours in length and following the Session the Mediator will provide all participants (and their legal representatives) which takes approximately ½ an hour. Each Session with preparation is 2hours and therefore £288 including VAT. Your sessional bill will be higher if additional time is utilised or, additional preparation time is undertaken by the Mediator in or between sessions.
Our Mediation fees are paid on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, before any appointment takes place. Therefore Assessments and MIAMs can be arranged to take place, when you are to fund the process.
Mediations relating to children often cost in the region of £900 excluding VAT and expenses or disbursements. The actual cost may differ (higher and lower) dependent upon:
- Family complexities
- The number of Sessions which take place
- If children participate directly within the process (Child Inclusive Mediation or CIM). See our separate article on Child Inclusive Mediation here.
It is commonly estimated, that the costs of going to court, in relation to disputes relating to the care or custody of a child or children are between £1500 –£10,000 excluding VAT.
Do I have to mediate?
It is a requirement for any person wishing to ‘go to Court’ about a child or children to attend a MIAM (individual Assessment with a Mediator) unless you fall into an exemption.
Mediation as a process itself takes place after a MIAM and only if both parties are willing and the mediator has determined the matter as suitable.
How do I get a MIAM appointment can it be on line?
It’s easy. We offer our services remotely/ online using video platforms (Zoom- Face Time and others).
So many of you already have told us that this makes the process for them:
- Flexible and family friendly in organizing
- Reduces/eliminates costs of traveling to offices
- Avoid taking long periods off work
- Enables the issues to be dealt with quicker
- Often in the comfort of their own private and secure environment
- Bridges the gap and creates an accessible forum when parents live distances apart
- Reduces their levels of anxiety
- Helps them stay calm and focused on the children
Please visit our website www.midlandsdove.co.uk You can make a referral direct from our website to us, or contact our experienced co-ordinators on 01623 706020 to find out more about the Mediation process, associated costs and Legal Agency criteria for FREE Mediation.