Questions about mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a facilitated discussion between you and your former partner to help you agree on issues such as childcare and finances. Family mediation can be used during divorce and separation, as well as at key times in yours or your child’s life. The aim of mediation is to help everyone involved reach agreement and resolution quickly and with as little stress and upset as possible.

What is a MIAM and why should I have one?

A Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), is a short meeting that explains what mediation is, how it can help, and a chance to assess whether mediation is suitable for you. If you are separating from a partner, or need to negotiate about future arrangements for children, it is likely that you will need to have a MIAM before you can make application to court.

How long does it take?

An assessment meeting (MIAM) lasts around 45 minutes to an hour. Each mediation session is 1.5 hours. You can have as many sessions as you want or need to reach an agreement you are both happy with. The guide below can help you know what to expect:

  • Child issues - 1-2 sessions
  • Finance and property issues - 2-3 sessions
  • Children and property/finances - 3-4 sessions


What happens after mediation?

Once you have resolved your issues, you may choose to have your agreement written down in a final document called a ‘Statement of Outcome’ or ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. These documents are not legally binding but can be an important and helpful way to confirm your agreement.

If it’s not legally binding, what’s the point?

You do not necessarily need to have a legal document to make decisions about how you want to split your finances or look after your children. Often mediation and the agreements you come to will be enough, espeically as you will have found an arrangement that works for you both, and most importantly for your children. If you want formalise your mediation agreement or settle your divorce, and you both agree, the documents from mediation can be taken to your solicitor. One of the greatest benefits of family mediation is that the decision making remains in your hands. Although going through the courts ensures a legally binding outcome, by going to court you are giving a judge the power to decide your future for you.

What if we can’t agree?

An inspiring 80% of people who mediate come to agreement, often after just one or two sessions. We will do our best to help you negotiate and find a resolution that you are both happy with, however if you can’t reach agreement, you may need to take some time out from mediation and come back when your situation or feelings have changed. The success of mediation is as much about the discussion as the outcome. Mediation can ensure your views are heard and that you have done everything possible to find an amicable solution.



Questions about costs


How much does mediation it cost?

Mediation is FREE if you or your ex are eligible for Legal Aid. If you are not eligible there is a charge, however as a mediation charity we do our best to keep our costs as low as possible whilst still providing a professional, accessible service. The below prices are all per person and inclusive of VAT.

Assessment meeting (MIAM): £90 per person


FREE if you or your ex-partner are eligible for Legal Aid.
Mediation session: £120 for those with an income of less than £15,000, and £180 for those with an income of over £15,000.

If you are eligible for Legal Aid and go on to mediate, all of your mediation sessions are free.

If your ex-partner is eligible for Legal Aid, you are entitled to one free mediation session as well as a free MIAM.
Written notes: Written notes are provided for all mediation sessions free of charge.
Final documents: £150



What is Legal Aid?


Legal Aid is public funding available to help you if you are on a very low income. Mediation is free for those who are eligible, and a free MIAM and free first mediation session are available if your ex is eligible, even if you are not.

To establish if you are eligible for legal aid for mediation you can take a look at the Legal Aid Calculator

If you would like us to assess if you are eligible for Legal Aid in your mediation assessment meeting (MIAM), we need to see evidence of your income, including any benefits. Here is a current checklist of documents you will need to bring. Legal Aid Information for Clients

When and how do I pay?

Payment for a mediation assessment meeting (MIAM) is required at the time of booking as we arrange for a mediator to come in especially for you. If you wish to be assessed for Legal Aid we require a £20 deposit to book an assessment meeting (MIAM) which we will refund if you are assessed as eligible. The Legal Aid eligibility assessment will be carried out at the beginning of your mediaton assessment meeting (MIAM). If you are not assessed as eligible, you will be required to pay the remaining £70. When you go on to mediate we will invoice you prior to your meeting date and will require full payment prior to the meeting. Payment can be made over the phone or in person by credit/debit card – or by cheque to Norfolk Family Mediation Service.

What if I need to cancel?

If you can’t make your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by calling 01603 620588 or emailing If you fail to attend your appointment, or cancel less than 24 hours in advance, there will be a fee of £20 for the missed appointment.



Questions about our service


When are you open?

Our offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. You are welcome to visit us to book an appointment, for more information or to make a payment.

Appointments can usually be made within a week and can be held at Norwich, Kings Lynn or Thetford. We are able to offer some evening appointments as well as weekdays, and can offer mediation by Skype or video link for those who cannot visit us in person.

Can I bring my child/children to the appointment?

In many cases it would not be appropriate for your children to be present during discussions, so we encourage you to make childcare arrangements and come alone.

Can I bring my partner/a relation/a friend to the appointment for support?

We would prefer that you attend alone but if you feel you need some support you can bring someone with you.

Who can I contact for further advice on separation and divorce issues?

Further separation and divorce information can be found at:

How do I become a mediator?

Mediators are fully qualified, accredited professionals who have undertaken extensive training. From time to time we offer training contracts for those who wish to become a mediator with Norfolk Family Mediation Service; if you are interested in finding our more get in touch.

I am a mediator – can I work for you?

We are always keen to meet qualified, accredited mediators who are interested in joining our; if you are interested in meeting us get in touch.

I am a solicitor or organisation wishing to refer someone to your service

If you wish to refer a client contact us or complete the referral form and send it back to us at – we look forward to hearing from you.