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.