What is family mediation?

Family mediation helps separated couples, especially separated parents, to agree arrangements for their children and/or property and financial matters without going to court. Grandparents seeking contact with grandchildren can also go to mediation. Mediation is voluntary, but before filing a court application it's necessary to see a qualified mediator to get information about ways of settling out of court. Information meetings are arranged separately - not with both parties together. Agreements can be reached more amicably and quickly through mediation and are more likely to last, if you decide your own arrangements for your children. Mediation is free of charge for those who qualify for legal aid, whereas legal aid can be obtained from solicitors only in certain cases.

This site will enable you to find a local family mediation service which can answer your questions about mediation. The Legal Aid Agency link at the side of this page will help you find out if you qualify for free mediation. However, the mediator has to check this from the documents you take for assessment.

All the family mediation services listed on this site have contact details and most have links to websites. To find your nearest service, enter your town or postcode and follow the links for further information and to locate services that provide legal aid for information meetings and mediation.

The YouTube link below entitled 'Family Mediation - A better way', is a special Christmas video developed by Protocol IT with assistance from Lisa Parkinson to help explain the benefits of family mediation compared with going to court.

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Family Mediation - a better way