South London Family Mediation service for couples who are divorcing, separating or already separated, grandparents and other family members. Our professional, accredited and highly experienced family mediator can help you make arrangements for children, property and finance. Mediation puts you very much in control of making your own decisions and, compared with going to court, it can be quick, effective and relatively low in cost.
As a charity we keep our fees as low as possible because we want family mediation to be an accessible and affordable option. We do not charge in advance of your appointment but will ask you to pay when you attend the centre if you are not eligible for legal aid.
* MIAMs (Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings)
* Free mediation if eligible for Legal Aid
* Child arrangements, finance and property mediation
* Court forms signed at no additional cost
* No upfront charges
About Family Mediation
If you think you would like to consider family mediation as a way of resolving issues with your former partner you can arrange to come in to our centre for a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting).
A MIAM is a one to one meeting with a family mediator which lasts for up to 45 minutes. You can explain your situation and the mediator will work out with you whether mediation is suitable and safe.
At the end of this session if you want to proceed, and the mediator agrees it is suitable, we will try and contact the other party and invite him or her to come in for a MIAM. If he or she wants to proceed and it is suitable we will invite you in for a joint mediation session which will last for 90 minutes. If the other party does not respond or does not wish to consider mediation we can sign the form/s you need for court.
Family Mediation sessions
In mediation sessions you will sit down in a room with the other party and one or two of our family mediators. The mediators will help you to have a conversation about arrangements for children and/or property or finances. You will both have a chance to speak and be heard and express your wishes and feelings.
Where you reach agreement the mediator/s will record this and write up a mediation session summary, outcome summary or parenting plan. It may take more than one mediation session to reach agreement depending on your situation.
Memorandum of Understanding
For agreements on property and/or financial matters a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) can be produced. This is not a legally binding document but you can seek legal advice about going to court to make it legally binding.
Advantages of mediation over going to court:
• children benefit because of reduced conflict
• it can be done quickly: it may be completed in days rather than months compared to litigation and the court process
• costs are likely to be far less than lengthy court proceedings
Legal Aid for Family Mediation
SMC offers free mediation to those who are eligible for legal aid. If you are on a low income we can assess you at your MIAM and if you are eligible your MIAM and mediation sessions will be free. If one party attends a MIAM and is assessed as being eligible for legal aid the Legal Aid Agency will pay for both parties’ MIAMs and the first family mediation London session.
If not sure if you are eligible see https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid
Family Mediation Fees
For those who aren’t eligible for legal aid we try to keep fees as low as possible.
If you are not eligible for legal aid a MIAM will cost £90. This charge includes VAT and the signing of any forms needed for court.
Joint Mediation Sessions
Income up to 30k and not eligible for Legal Aid: £120 per person per session. Discretionary rates may be available, in consultation with the Service Manager, for clients who narrowly miss eligibility for Legal Aid.
Income 30k – 60k: £140 per person per session
Income over 60k: £160 per person per session
For those not eligible for legal aid assessment of income will be made based on self-declaration by clients
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Open Financial Statement (OFS)
Eligible for Legal Aid: No fee payable
Income up to 30k: £120 per person
Income 30k – 60k: £140 per person
Income over 60k: £160 per person
If you require a copy of the Open Financial Statement before the MOU, half the total MOU/OFS fee is payable.
NB All prices include VAT and there is no additional charge for signing court forms
What our clients say about Family Mediation
“I really appreciate what you have done for us today, thank you so much”
“I wanted to thank you sincerely for your great work yesterday at the MIAM and mediation session.You made me feel welcome, at ease and gave me peace of mind that mediation might bring some resolution”.
“Thanks a lot for the mediation session. I am glad that we were able to achieve this much”.
“The team works professionally and shows human understanding. You get the best from your visit even if the outcome may not have been your way. Thank you.”
Our Family Mediator
Our Family Mediator is Ursula Little.
Ursula is a highly experienced Family Mediator who has dealt with hundreds of cases of Child Arrangements, Property and Finance and All Issues mediation. Ursula trained as a Family Mediator in 2010 and is a full-time Family Mediator. She is accredited thorough the Family Mediation Association (FMA) to carry out private mediations and those funded through Legal Aid. She is also a member of National Family Mediation (NFM).
Ursula has particular experience of dealing with complex property and finance cases, including pension sharing arrangements and relocation as well as high conflict child arrangements cases.
Ursula has also had experience of other types family mediation cases including probate disputes, wills, care of the elderly and wider family breakdown.
Ursula is bilingual and is able to mediate in French.