• Doncaster

    01302 327 136
    Mon-Fri 9-5pm

  • Retford

    01777 703 100
    Mon-Fri 9-5pm

  • Worksop

    01909 500 511
    Mon-Fri 9-5pm

  • Clowne

    01246 810 050
    Mon-Fri 9-5pm

  • Rotherham

    01709 375 561
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  • Sheffield - Waterthorpe

    0114 251 1702
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  • Sheffield - Chapeltown

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'Mediation' Category Archives

October 30th, 2019

Family Mediation Solicitors

Close-up of married couple's hands in an affectionate pose

Our team of experienced and supportive family mediators is here to help you resolve sensitive issues between family members, without the need for going to court.

As a person looking for a cost-effective tool to help resolve matters regarding divorce, childcare and finances, the involvement of a mediator could be the answer.

The family mediation team here at Foys Solicitors are committed to helping you find favourable solutions for all parties involved. Our passion for helping family members communicate and resolve disputes has led us to update our compassionate family mediation solicitors page with accurate and reliable information.

On this page, you’ll find out how we can help you with issues to do with:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Childcare
  • Money and finances
  • Property

Contact Foys Solicitors team of family mediators today

If you would like a free initial consultation on our services, call us on 01302 327136, email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

For more information on how mediation can help your family, take a look at How mediation can help your family during a divorce.

November 15th, 2018

Access to Justice – How much do parents really have?

The legal system has become noticeably more impenetrable in recent years. Research by Resolution shows that where before 25-45 people on average were turned away, in 2018 this has increased to 100-200. So what’s changed, and more importantly can anything be done about it?


Following the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), most private family law cases – including matters regarding the arrangements for spending time with children – do not qualify for the services of a Legal Aid lawyer. Many parents are finding themselves under the microscope of the Family Courts alone, arguing disputes regarding their children without legal aid.

Cases where arrangements for children and/or financial issues arise from separation are increasingly unrepresented. Many family lawyers have found themselves unable to assist people in such circumstances due to the changes to the Legal Aid system in 2014. Legal aid is available to those arguing against the State, but not to disputes between parents, leaving them to fight their own battles on their own budget. As a result, a lack of funds means representation is not an option for many.

This has had a significant impact on the scale of these types of cases, often elongating them and making them much harder to resolve. As Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon has said, “Separation and decisions over child access are some of the most difficult moments people will ever go through. When people are priced out of getting legal help, this can make it even harder for all involved, especially the children, and can escalate into divisive family court battles with long-term consequences”.

Is mediation the answer?

The government’s Legal Aid goal was to encourage a greater focus on mediation as a way of resolving conflicts, but it does not seem to have succeeded. While mediation is compulsory in the majority of cases, many attend court afterwards without understanding the benefits or resolutions that mediation can bring. Jayne Kirtley, our Legal Executive Advocate at Foys Solicitors, puts it best: “Early help can sometimes avoid the need for court proceedings and the emotional conflict that this can bring. Being able to agree on matters amicably works far better than forcing it.

Despite the benefits, mediation is still an option that is largely overlooked. Instead of parties resolving their differences beforehand, Judges now find themselves commonly faced with two unrepresented parties; one party or both being represented is now the exception rather than the norm. Government figures currently suggest that 46% of private family law cases had a lawyer on each side in April to June 2012, but in the same period in 2018, only 19% did. The option is there, but many simply don’t know how to take advantage of it. This is where Foys Solicitors can come in.

We can help

At Foys, our experienced Children and Separation solicitors are equipped to offer practical advice in these situations. We’re experts at helping you through the process of mediation, and a consultation with us includes the first 30 minutes free. If you need help or know someone that may benefit from our assistance, fill out our Online Form or get in touch with your local office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

If you found this article interesting, why not take a look at:

August 22nd, 2018

How mediation can help your family during a divorce

For separating couples, court can be a daunting prospect, especially due to the costs and time taken up by court proceedings. On the other hand, the UK court system is also overwhelmed by the volume of civil cases, which is why divorce mediation has been a legal requirement since 2014.

Couples seeking a divorce have to attend an initial Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before going to court as it aims to help both parties to agree on issues relating to their children, finances and property.

The mediation process itself will not issue a divorce, but a judge may adjourn a case if the divorcing partners haven’t tried mediation first, except under particular circumstances such as where domestic abuse is involved.

The process of divorce mediation involves a neutral third party known as a Mediator facilitating discussions, helping both partners come to a mutual agreement. Mediation costs less than court and usually takes less time as the schedule is decided upon by the people taking part.

What does a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting involve?

The first mediation meeting, whether it’s referred to as a MIAM or not, will follow a fairly standard procedure. You don’t have to see your former partner if you don’t want to; you can be in separate rooms or attend separate meetings if that’s easier. Even if you are both present at the same time, you may each have some time to spend alone with the mediator to ensure neither person is being pressured or forced into mediation.

During the meeting, your mediator will explain to you how the process works and how they can help you to make arrangements pertaining to your children, finances and property, as well as the costs involved in the event that you are not eligible for free mediation and Legal Aid.

Although mediation does not happen in court, it is based in law and so everyone involved is required to be completely truthful about assets, finances and other matters. Agreements made in mediation are not in themselves legally binding, but they can be made into a consent order which your mediator can help you arrange.

Divorce mediation options available

Every family is unique, and so there is no one single way to arrange a divorce mediation. Depending on how difficult the situation is, you may consider:

  • Sole mediation – Where one mediator attends the meetings
  • Co-mediation – Two mediators are present, each representing one person
  • Shuttle mediation – If the two parties don’t wish to see each other, they can be in separate rooms with a mediator moving back and forth
  • Child-inclusive mediation – Children aged 10 and above have the right to be included in the mediation process. Children under 10 may not be present during the mediation process, but with their consent, a specialist can have a meeting with them to note their wishes. These will then be communicated to the parents.

The purpose of a divorce mediation is to provide you with a safe, calm, neutral place to discuss your issues with your former partner and work out a realistic plan for the future. It’s common for people to struggle with the process, which is why mediators will do their utmost to reduce conflict and take everyone’s wishes into account.

What if divorce mediation doesn’t work?

There are people who believe that divorce mediation before court action is a waste of time, but remember, the judge is likely to ask you to try mediation first.

Of course, it’s possible that mediation will not resolve all the issues surrounding your case, or that after the first meeting it’s obvious you will need to try other avenues. Under these circumstances, your mediator will sign a court form confirming that you’ve tried mediation without success. However, before you head straight to court, you can still consider other possibilities, such as collaborative law or arbitration – your solicitor will be able to advise you whether this is likely to help.

If your former partner simply refuses to attend a MIAM, you can still arrange one for yourself. This will help prove to the court that you have tried everything to resolve important issues.

Family mediation with Foys Solicitors

Foys have years of experience helping families and couples with their legal issues. On our team, we have dedicated Family Law solicitors and Family Mediation Council accredited meditators. Our competitive hourly rate and fixed fees make divorce mediation a cost-effective option to reach mutually agreeable solutions before going to court and formalising the divorce procedure – and if needed, you can also retain a solicitor with Foys at a later date.

If you are facing separation, dissolution or divorce – contact Foys Solicitors today for a free initial consultation.

Alternatively, contact your local Foys Solicitors office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

For more information on this subject, take a look at our previous posts on Family and Children Law: