With the largest family mediation team in Birmingham, if you are facing divorce or separation, we can help you reach a workable outcome whether that be for children, property, finance or other important family matters. Our experience in both family mediation and law means we can either act for you as a solicitor during the family mediation process, or assist you as a family mediator itself.
When a relationship breaks down, whether you are married or not, problems can arise about children, money or property. Family mediation can help all parties involved resolve issues around how assets will be divided, what will happen to the family home and who is to care for any children. Family mediation isn't just for couples and parents of children; we also support grandparents who are struggling to gain access to see their grandchildren. Whatever your personal requirements are we can help; we offer sole or co-mediation, as well as single male, single female or mixed co-mediator meetings, as well as direct consultation with children (child-inclusive mediation sessions).
Our experienced family mediation team has the knowledge, experience and sensitivity to assist individuals and their families through periods of uncertainty and difficulty. As all of our family mediators are accredited by the Family Mediation Council, we have the experience to guide you through the whole process of family mediation - from your first meeting, to writing up the conclusions of your sessions. Our family mediators - Chris, Elisabeth and Maria - assist with negotiations to encourage settlement. We work with both parties to provide impartial, unbiased, legal information. Once conclusions are reached, we provide written summaries that enable those parties involved, or their legal advisors, to draw up binding agreements.
Why should you take part in family mediation?
Family mediation can be a quick, cost-effective alternative to litigation, and allows parties to take control and reach conclusions themselves. Family mediators will help parties to hold discussions in a constructive and positive manner.
Helping people to reach conclusions during the family mediation process
During the family mediation process, parties are encouraged to consider multiple options. The family mediator is not concerned about achieving the overall 'best results', but aims to support the couple in reaching conclusions that both parties are content with, and are right for the couple. We assess proposals and provide analysis as to whether they achieve the goals set out by the parties in family mediation or whether their are other options that better fit the parties' family mediation objectives. If needed, we can reality test proposals and look at their short, medium and long-term viability. Crucially, even if there is a successful outcome to family mediation, the conclusions reached are without prejudice and not legally binding. If conclusions are reached, however, we are able to provide our expert judgement as to what such conclusions would likely to be evidenced by the court.
During family mediation, the family mediator may feel that expert information is required. Often, in financial matters, experts such as surveyors, pension experts or accountants will be required, and in child matters, child psychologists or family therapists may be required. We can provide parties with details of experts we regularly use and trust, such as surveyors, counsellors, pension experts and parenting support providers, and, if you would like us to, we can instruct them on your behalf.
- Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs);
- Separation and divorce;
- Housing and property arrangements;
- Care of children and visiting arrangements; and
- Financial support.
Legal aid is potentially available to those considering mediation. If you think you might be eligible, please use this calculator to find out more. Although, here at Anthony Collins Solicitors, we are unable to offer family mediation services where legal aid is concerned, we can help you with finding legal-aid family mediation providers if you are eligible. We can still act as your solicitor, however, if you choose to have legal aid family mediation. Find out how this works here.
For further information
We've produced a glossary of family mediation terms to help you get started.
Other organisations that can support you with marriage counselling, citizens advice, domestic violence and parenting support can be found here.
So, who can we help with mediation?
We help separating couples with family mediation when a relationship breaks down. Our family mediators will always assist in negotiations.
Separating couples with children
If you have children and are separating this can make a conclusion harder to reach. We provide mediation to separating couples with children.
Grandparents don't have any legal rights. We provide family mediation services when grandparents are struggling to see their grandchildren.
We have family mediators who are accredited to conduct direct child-inclusive mediation with children over the age of nine.
How might a court deal with financial matters upon divorce?
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, our Accredited Family Mediators are able to give independent and impartial legal information to parties going through separation matters. We are, however, unable to provide legal advice as that is a matter for parties own legal advisors. We appreciate however that not everyone coming to family mediation wants to or can afford to instruct a solicitor. For those that don’t or can’t, understanding how a court would consider resolving a financial matters on divorce can be a daunting task. In family mediation we do not try to find the best result for you but a conclusion that you both are comfortable with. Nevertheless it is often helpful to parties to understand how, if the they are unable to reach conclusions in family mediation a court would approach their financial matter and what factors a court would take into account.
The Family Justice Council has provided guidance on this issue. Parties to family mediation, especially those without solicitors, are encouraged to read this document when coming to family mediation to learn more about how courts would approach their financial matters, if asked to do so.
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