Do I need to see a solicitor first?
The short answer is "no". At Green Light Mediation we like our mediators to work in teams so that you have the benefit of two qualified family law mediators working together. Commonly, one of your mediators will have worked as a family solicitor or lawyer previously. This means that you can ask general legal questions, and find out about options a court would consider without having to pay for independent legal advice for every question.
However, the mediators work with both of you and for both of you so we cannot give "advice" that benefits one of you to the detriment of the other. If one, or both of you needs some independent legal advice then we flag this up in the appointment so that, if you choose to, you can obtain some "bite size" independent legal advice before the next appointment so that you are making considered choices, knowing the facts. If you don't have a solicitor we can recommend a couple of local solicitors that a number of our clients speak well of and whom we work with regularly. We find this approach seems to give us a higher success rate than some whilst keeping our clients overall costs down. To sum up, the first step (unless you are in a dangerous situation) should usually be mediation. If you are not sure, just give us a call on 01442 500059 and have a no obligation chat, we will do our best to help you.
How much will it cost me?
There are a number of benefits to mediating the financial aspects of your divorce; child contact arrangements or other dispute one of which is cost. However, to achieve genuine value for money there are a number of things that the savvy client checks out.
Firstly, mediation sessions generally last an hour and a half so if the prices are only displayed as "per hour" or "plus vat" make sure you look at the whole price.
The second, and more important point is what you actually get for your money? Is it one mediator or two (why wouldn't you want two qualified professionals both thinking creatively and using problem solving skills to help you if it didn't cost more).
Are the mediators properly qualified? Those who have been mediating for a number of years are likely to have reached "accreditation" standard. Is your mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council? Only accredited mediators are allowed to sign court forms if you need to make an application.
Is every cost transparent ie. if you want documents drawn up at the end where are the prices for this? Can you see them on the website? All our costs are here