Frequently Asked Questions

How long does Mediation Take

  • Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and less stressful way of dealing with family disputes than going through court. It is an alternative to the court process.
  • Mediation dealing with Child Only issues takes 1 – 3 sessions
  • Mediation dealing with Property and Financial issues 2 – 4 sessions
  • Mediation dealing with all these issues, known as "All Issues", 3 – 5 sessions.
  • Most cases are dealt with in 3-4 months from the point of referral
  • Final mediation documents are readily converted into a Consent Order or Deed of Separation, if appropriate.

What does it cost

  • All Clients will be individually assessed for Legal Aid if they wish.
  • If you are eligible for Legal Aid, the initial Information meeting (called a MIAM) will be free to you as will all subsequent mediation meetings and the documents produced at the end of the process.
  • If you are not eligible for Legal Aid but your former Partner is, your MIAM meeting will be free to you both.
  • If you are mediating on Child Issues only, the first joint session is also free to you both if one of you is eligible for Legal Aid. Subsequent sessions will attract a cost to whichever client is not eligible.
  • If neither of you is eligible for Legal Aid, then the MIAM meeting costs £75 per person.
  • If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, mediation meetings of 1.5 hours will attract a charge.
  • These charges are on a sliding scale depending on income. Information can be sent to you on request.
  • There is a single additional charge later in the mediation process for the preparation of documents to record agreements.
  • There is no additional VAT on any charges.

What are the benefits of mediation

  • Mediation is cheaper and quicker than the conventional legal route
  • Mediation is not adversarial but works hard to retain the common ground and interests that clients bring
  • Mediation respects the knowledge that clients have about their own families
  • Clients control the outcome of mediation, though the mediator manages the process and assists in developing options for settlement
  • Through work on practical aspects of settlement, mediation helps to improve communication

Is mediation suitable for everyone

  • Mediation is suitable for most people and most people benefit from it
  • If you have any concerns, you can raise them at your Intake Meeting
  • You can come to the Intake Meeting either alone or with your ex partner
  • At that meeting, there is individual screening for domestic abuse, child protection issues and financial assessment

Is Mediation Confidential

  • YES except if there is a perceived risk of abuse to anyone, in particular a child
  • YES except if illegal activity is revealed
  • The Legal Aid Agency reserves the right to audit all files.

Where can I be seen

  • Appointments are available in:
    • Abingdon
    • Bloxham (Banbury)
    • Cirencester
    • Highworth (Swindon)
    • Oxford
    • Winchcombe
    • Moreton in Marsh
  • Offices and maps

How is Mediation regulated

  • Mediators who are authorised to do legal aid work have been through a comprehensive training and competence assessment process. They and the services for which they work are regulated and audited by the Legal Aid Agency.
  • Mediators must also belong to one of the regulatory bodies in the Family Mediation Council, work to their Code of Practice and complete ongoing Continual Professional Development and Supervision.
  • 4x4 Mediation is regulated by the Legal Aid Agency and all mediators working for the organisation are members of one of the Lead Bodies of the Family Mediation Council.
  • All training courses offered by 4x4 Mediation and Training have been accredited by the College of Mediators and are recognised by the Legal Aid Agency and Family Mediation Council Assessors.

Comments, Concerns, Compliments, Complaints

Comments, Concerns, Compliments, Complaints

Our aim is to give professional help and support to you through the time of your Divorce or Separation. If we have achieved this aim, please let us know.

We welcome comments and feedback on all parts of our service so that we can continue to review and improve for Clients.

If you have concerns about the service you have received, we would also like to know so that your concerns can be addressed.

Please write to:
The Principal
Bloxham Mill Business Centre
Barford Road
Bloxham,
Banbury
Oxon OX15 4FF

Legal Aid

We assess any client for Legal Aid eligibility at their MIAM if they wish. This assessment is based on the Legal Aid Agency rules and is evidence based. Almost every assessment is audited by the Legal Aid Agency.

Legal Aid Assessment Rules are strict and the following applies: you may be eligible if:

  • You are in receipt of a “passporting” benefit such as Income Support, Income based JSA, EASA or income based Pension Credit, or Universal Credit, or you have a very low income.
  • Assets are also assessed and therefore you should have no significant assets
  • You bring the requested evidence to your MIAM to enable the mediator to complete the assessment forms according to the rules of the Legal Aid Agency.

Notes on Evidence required: The following are essential for an assessment to be done:

  • Bank Statements for the month leading up to the MIAM (Information Meeting) at which the assessment is done which shows all sources of income
  • Sources of Income include:
    • employed income (bring wage slips)
    • Tax Credits (bring latest award letter)
    • Benefits (bring latest award letter)
    • Maintenance from spouse/partner or previous spouse/partner
    • Child Benefit
    • Any other source of income e.g.rent from older child living at home
  • Award letters for JSA, EASA, Pension Credit must state whether the benefit is income based or contribution based. If there is any doubt, you must telephone the relevant Benefits office to check this and ask for written confirmation from them.
  • You must also bring evidence of housing benefit, rent or mortgage payments, child care costs.
  • If you have a new partner with whom you are living, the Legal Aid Agency requires that their income be taken into account and therefore the same rules apply with regard to the evidence needed for their income.

Please note: This is what you need to bring for an assessment to be done. It does not guarantee that you will be eligible on the day and you must bring with you the means to pay for your MIAM in case you are not eligible.

For further advice and to check eligibility prior to attending a MIAM please go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/legal-aid-family-mediation

Referrals

To start mediation please complete the online referral form.

 

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