Preparing for a healthy separation with Relate Mid and East Surrey
Not all relationships work out.
When marriages and partnerships end in separation or divorce and couples go their separate ways, family mediation can help you communicate and reach agreement through these difficult times.
What is Family Mediation?
- A voluntary process with an independent, professional mediator who helps you and your ex-partner agree on important aspects of your life – without going to court.
- The mediator provides practical help and expertise so you can reach agreements about children, dividing property, finances and other assets.
- It is confidential: you are free to discuss and explore all your options in a safe space, and you can be reassured that your conversations cannot be used in court (unless there is a risk of harm to you or someone else).
- Mediation is not a replacement for legal advice: we recommend that you run agreements reached in mediation past an independent legal advisor.
“I didn’t realise how many options we had, it’s now much clearer and we have choices”
What is the mediation process?
- To begin with, you’ll attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a mediator to understand: your circumstances; what mediation involves and how it works; what you need resolving; and your future plans. This will help you decide if mediation will work for you.
- Couples then usually attend 2-4 sessions, each lasting 60-90 minutes.
- Mediation requires both you and your partner to attend these sessions. You’ll both be able to talk in a safe environment and deal with the practicalities of separation.
- Our mediators can offer you a shuttle mediation service if you are uncomfortable being in the same room as your partner.
- Your mediator can see children separately to get their views and make sure their wishes are considered in the final agreement.
- At the end of your sessions, when an acceptable conclusion is reached, the mediator will give you a document known as a memorandum of understanding – that clearly sets out what you have agreed. This document can then be drafted into a child arrangements order, consent order or a deed of separation and made legally binding through solicitors.
“I was pleased I could do some shuttle mediation, I didn’t need to see my ex-partner until I felt ready”
What we offer via mediation
Child arrangements: we help you put your children first by encouraging cooperative parenting during and after separation and divorce. In mediation, you can discuss co-parenting and agree a parenting plan. This includes living arrangements for the children, maintenance, emotional impact and education arrangements.
Financial and property arrangements: we help you navigate the complexities of separating your money and property in a structured way, to enable the most informed decision for your family. We’ll help you decide what happens to your family home, divide up assets and manage money after separation.
Communication: we know that dialogue with ex-partners can be tricky, so we encourage effective communication. This puts children first, minimises conflict, encourages consistent parenting and respects new and existing relationships.
“The mediator met our children and enabled them to have their own say on what they want for their future too”
What are the benefits of mediation?
- It is quicker and costs significantly less than expensive and often lengthy court litigation. Fees are paid on a sliding scale according to income.
- You and your ex-partner control the outcomes; in court, a judge will make the final decisions.
- Children get to have their voices heard and wishes taken into consideration.
- It promotes less parental conflict and more cooperation. There is less stress for both parents and children and it allows important family relationships to continue.
- Communication between you and your ex-partner improves.
Does mediation work?
Our statistics speak for themselves.
Our mediators are accredited through the Family Mediation Council (FMC) and are members of Family Mediation Association. They have completed over two years’ training with a minimum of five years’ practice.
Relate Mid and East Surrey adheres to the FMC standards and quality mark in all aspects of our mediation service.
“As a Relate Mid and East Surrey mediator, I draw on my background as an accountant and qualified psychodynamic counsellor to break down barriers and enable a safe environment for honest dialogue without judgement.” Jayne Swanston.
Please see the costs page for more information on fees.
To enquire about an appointment please call:
01737 245212 Reigate
01372 722976 Epsom