CFFM approach to charges

CFFM is a “not for profit” service and registered charity, aiming to help all regardless of ability to pay. Free mediation is available through Legal Aid if you are on a low income and have limited savings (see separate Leaflet re: Legal Aid).

None of the charges apply if you are eligible for Legal Aid.



Step by Step Guide:

Stage 1 – Make a Referral

To our Service via the form on our website.

A member of our team will then have a brief free telephone consultation with the referrer which can cover your options including, but not limited to, mediation and provide information about court processes etc.


Stage 2 – Decision to use our service

Non-refundable Referral Fee of £40 is payable at this point (this fee can be waived if you promptly send in proof of ‘Passported Benefits’ to us instead – please refer to our Legal Aid leaflet for full details).

This fee covers initial administration, telephone calls and correspondence and shows your commitment to the process. We usually write out to, and then talk to, your ex-partner to engage them in the mediation process.


Stage 3 – Both of you willing to try mediation

We then set up free initial individual meetings which will last about half an hour for both of you to find out more about mediation without incurring any significant costs.


Stage 4 – Starting to mediate properly

You meet together with your ex-partner and a trained mediator in a series of joint meetings. This is usually around 2-3 for children’s matters and may need more for complicated financial issues. You decide after each meeting if you want to continue.

Before each joint meeting we ask for part payment as a non-refundable Booking Fee of £50. This is then deducted from your session fee with the remainder paid at the meeting.

Note: The first joint session is free for both of you if one of you qualifies for Legal Aid apart from the £50 Booking Fee (later sessions chargeable).

Stage 5 – Providing you with a detailed outcome

This is free for children’s matters and costs £100 for financial issues.

If mediation is not going ahead and you are applying to court then you normally attend a “Mediation Information and Assessment meeting” (MIAM) and have a form completed to show you have considered mediation. The charge for this is £95 including VAT but again free if you qualify for legal aid. However, if a joint mediation session has taken place then there is a £40 charge including VAT for the service to complete the form.


Charges per person per session (all including VAT) if not eligible for Legal Aid

Charges per person per session if not eligible for Legal Aid


Initial telephone consultation: Free                                                      

Referral Fee: £40

No further charges until joint meeting or MIAM Is arranged


Joint sessions – Children’s matters:

Sliding scale PER PERSON as follows:

Gross income

Up to 20k    £95 inc VAT            

20k to 30k   £120 inc VAT           

Above 30k  £150 inc VAT                


Property &finance/All issues  £175 inc VAT

Sessions range between 1 and 1.5 hours

Drafting of Memorandum of Understanding

and Open Financial Statement   £100 inc VAT


Mediation Information and         £95 inc VAT

Assessment meeting (MIAM) if mediation is

not going ahead payable in advance


Booking Fee

A non-refundable fee of £50 per person is payable in advance by telephone to secure your joint session and then deducted from the session fee.

Copying old documents £20 per copy

Returning to mediation – fresh Referral fee after 4 months

Payment is by cash, debit card or online World Pay link

Our key benefits
  • A safe neutral environment for discussions
  • Impartiality
  • You stay in control
  • An organised and constructive process
  • Options for you to explore
  • A lasting agreement for the future which is practical and acceptable to both of you
Types of mediation
  • Child only – where they live, arrangements to spend time with each parent etc.
  • Impartiality
  • Property and Finance – the family home, whether and how it should be sold, maintenance, pensions etc.
  • All Issues Mediation (AIM) – combination of children and financial issues.

Mediation sessions guide

When we receive the initial referral we will aim to see you for the individual introductory meeting within 2 weeks.

Any further mediation sessions will then be arranged at a timescale to suit both of you and the mediator

The number of sessions can vary.

If you are only discussing children’s matters, then 2-3 joint sessions is usually enough to resolve matters. If you are sorting out finances then more sessions may be needed depending on the complexity of your finances.

However, the time needed depends on:

  • Individual circumstances
  • The number and complexity of the issues that need resolving
  • How flexible you can be regarding days/times for appointments
  • Most sessions last for 1 to 1.5 hours

Mediation is usually quicker and more direct than using just solicitors to negotiate for you.

In terms of cost, the National Audit Office reported several years ago that mediation average costs were less than a quarter of the cost of going to court with the latter over £2800.