Conflict resolution couple

About Mediation

Mediation helps you and your ex-partner to sort out the future for yourselves and your children.

  • Mediation allows you to talk through all the issues around your separation or divorce and make your own decisions rather than having them imposed by the family court.
  • Mediation helps both parties communicate better and build separate futures for themselves, whilst enabling their children to maintain a relationship with both parents and other family members.
  • Mediation is cheaper and quicker than using a solicitor alone.
  • TalkFIRST is a charity with highly trained and qualified staff who have a wealth of experience in working with children and finance & property. We can help you to communicate better, which will help you and your children come to terms with the family breakdown, both emotionally and practically.

Is family mediation for me?

If you are a parent, a divorcing couple, teenager, grandparent or sibling who needs help resolving issues with another family member, then yes, family mediation is for you.  Family mediation can help any members of a family where there are communication or relationship difficulties.  Family mediation can help improve communication between you and the other party so that you can make decisions and arrangements about finance/property, sharing jointly owned possessions, pensions, debts, children, contact, residence, education, holiday arrangements, parenting and maintenance/child support. You can find 

What is mediation?

  • Mediation is an impartial process that will allow you and the other party to discuss things in a safe, neutral environment.
  • It is a straightforward and constructive informal process to help you resolve issues
  • Mediation can provide you and the other party with options to consider
    Mediation can help you reach an agreement about the future
  • Mediation is a voluntary process; YOU are in control and you can stop the process at any stage

Mediation is NOT

  • Counselling or therapy
  • Legally binding (Some people do decide to get a solicitor to look over the agreement, and the agreement can be used in court at a later stage to to create a Consent Order).

How can mediation help me?

  • Mediation can help you move forward with your life and make a new start after separation/divorce
  • It can help improve relationships between family members
  • Help you identify the issues and how to overcome them
  • Help you tailor solutions to your particular case
  • It can save you time and money – legal costs will be lower after you have engaged in mediation

How long will it take?

We aim to meet you within a week of your referral.  This would normally be in person but we are able to use video links. It is impossible to estimate how long the process will take because this depends on your individual circumstances. The average number of sessions involved in resolving children only matters is 1-3 sessions; ‘All Issues Mediation’ will need between 3 and 5 sessions, each lasting between 1-1.5 hours.

Step by step guide to mediation

  1. Refer yourself

You can refer yourself by ringing us on 01942 243620 or by emailing [email protected].  Referrals can also be made by solicitors or other professionals.

  1. Brief discussion with a mediator to establish the facts

At this stage, we will tell you whether or not we think mediation is suitable in your particular situation and we will outline our charges.  If you wish to continue, we will ask you to pay £99 for a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) and will arrange to meet with you (currently by video link). At this stage, we will contact the other party and invite them to arrange a MIAM with them.

  1. MIAM meeting(s)

The mediator will meet with both parties separately to establish the facts and find out what each of you wants to achieve from mediation.  The mediator will not make any judgments and will not ‘take sides’.  You can ask the mediator any questions you have about the mediation process at this meeting. The mediator will tell you how many sessions they feel will be necessary to deal with the issues.

  1. Mediation

Both parties will meet together with the mediator. The meeting would normally take place in our comfortable mediation room at our office in Ince, but currently, due to the coronavirus situation, will be carried out by video-link.  It is difficult to estimate how many sessions will be needed as this depends on your individual circumstances, but usually will be around 1-3 sessions for children’s matters and 3-5 sessions for All Issues. At the end of each meeting, you will be asked if you wish to continue.

  1. Outcome

The mediator will prepare a written agreement, if required based on the decisions you have reached.

What happens if the agreement is broken?

You can return to mediation at any stage if your circumstances change or you wish to amend the agreement for any reason.

What happens if I want to mediate but the other party does not?

You can still attend your MIAM session and the mediator will provide you with a form for the court that indicates you have considered mediation, as it is a court requirement that anyone going to court about financial or children matters has attended a meeting with a mediator.

The form is included in the cost of the MIAM (£99).

What happens if the mediator says mediation is not suitable in my case?

The mediator will provide you with a form for the court to indicate that mediation is not suitable. 

How much will mediation cost?

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a voucher scheme which will provide a contribution of up to £500 towards the mediation costs for eligible cases, supporting people in resolving their family law disputes outside court, where appropriate. Click here for more details.

Initial consultation over the telephone/by email within office hours


MIAM (initial assessment and information meeting) to include signing form C100 or Form A

(After 5pm or Saturday morning)



Joint mediation session – approximately one and a half hour sessions (during office hours)

After 5pm

Weekends (subject to availability)

£100 per person per hour

£200 per person per hour

Please enquire

Drafting of Financial/Outcome Statement


Drafting of Parenting Plan


Session summary notes


Collating and recording of financial information from documents provided

£150 per person

Drafting of Memorandum of Understanding or Open Financial Statement


TalkFIRST is not registered for Legal Aid, therefore we would signpost you to
another mediation service if we felt you were eligible for Legal Aid.

Click here for frequently asked questions about mediation.