Family Mediation is Affordable for Everyone

Family Mediation is Affordable for Everyone

 As part of the Government cut backs, legal aid will all but disappear for divorcing or separating couples. From 1 April 2013, parties on a low income who are separating and need legal help to resolve their financial disputes or child arrangements are unlikely to be entitled to legal aid (which did provide free or reduced cost advice). This means that each party may have to face court proceedings alone without the advice and assistance of a lawyer or incur legal fees they cannot afford to pay.

However, legal aid for people on a low income is continuing for Family Mediation.  Leeds Day is the only firm of solicitors in Huntingdon, St Neots and St Ives able to offer Family Mediation with legal aid.  Our resident mediator, Abby Smith is accredited and approved by the Law Society, Legal Services Commission and Resolution to undertake mediations on a legal aid basis (and also on a private paying basis for those not eligible for legal aid).

How does family mediation work?

Our mediator will meet with you both for a series of sessions in which you will be helped to:

  •  Identify  all the matters you wish to consider
  • Collect the necessary information – mediation requires you both to be open and honest about your financial circumstances in order to achieve an outcome which is fair to you both
  • Talk about the choices open to you
  • Negotiate with each other to reach decisions that are acceptable to you both
  • Discuss how you can talk with your children appropriately about the arrangements
 What does a family mediator do?

A mediator’s job is to act as an impartial third party and manage the process, helping you to exchange information, ideas and feelings constructively and ensuring you make informed decisions. A family mediator has no power to impose a settlement – responsibility for all decisions remains with yourselves since you know better than anyone else what is right for your family.  Our family mediator can provide legal information and guidance, but not individual advice, as a family mediator must remain independent at all times.

Will I receive anything in writing?

Yes. Once an agreement is reached this is recorded in writing for each party to then discuss with their legal advisor.

What is the cost?

All the above is covered by legal aid for Family Mediation.  Therefore, separation does not have to cause financial hardship. In addition to offering legal aid to those on a low income, at Leeds Day we offer Family Mediation to those who would not qualify and so need to pay privately. Whilst there is then a cost for the parties for this service, Family Mediation remains much cheaper and more cost effective than proceeding through the more “traditional” route of instructing solicitors and proceeding through the courts.

Is mediation suitable for everyone?

Sometimes mediation is not the best way for you to resolve your problems and we understand “one size does not fit all”.  You will have a chance to discuss this in more detail at your individual consultation with our family mediator.

Abby is available to meet Family Mediation clients at any of our three offices in Huntingdon, St Neots or St Ives.

For further information about the Leeds Day Family Mediation Service, contact us by telephone on 01480 454301 or by email, family@leedsday.co.uk or have a look at the information on our website www.leedsday.co.uk/family


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