Focusing on the present & future

A client led and solution focused process which encourages both parties to look forwards and is now increasingly expected before considering or issuing court proceedings.

What is Mediation

Mediation provides an opportunity to resolve issues in a constructive and cost effective way keeping conflict to a minimum and allowing joint solutions to be reached.

It can be quicker, cheaper and kinder than litigation which can feel conflictual and adversarial in comparison.

Family Mediation is:

  • An alternative to court proceedings for solving issues relating to separation, finance and parenting arrangements.

  • Voluntary & confidential & generally a much cheaper and faster process.

  • A way of helping you reach agreements which take account of all your needs, concerns and interests not just the legal process.

  • Increasingly expected of you before you consider issuing court proceedings and often raised throughout the court process itself.

  • A process by which you can make decisions about your own and your children’s future with the help of an impartial third party.

Family Mediation is NOT:

  • Counselling or therapy.

  • About reconciliation.

  • A substitute for legal advice.

  • A legally binding process (though court orders are commonly made following mediation by agreement for finances).

  • The right process for everyone.

How does Family Mediation work

The process begins with an individual face to face or online assessment meeting known as a MIAM which takes place just between you and the mediator.

If you both agree to proceed with mediation, we will arrange a mutually convenient time for the first session. Each session usually lasts around 90 minutes and on average the process takes between 3 and 5 sessions.

At the first session we help you to set an agenda for what you both want to achieve and start to explore the options.

Sometimes mediators work on their own, sometimes in pairs, which is called co-mediation.

The cost of mediation is usually paid for at the beginning of each session. Payments can be made by card or cheque.

At the end of the process, you can request a Memorandum of Understanding which details the proposals you have made together. You can share them with your solicitors so they can easily and quickly be turned into the documents that are required to make your proposals legally binding.

Mediation Services

With over 30 years experience in this specialised area, Divorce Jigsaw will help you tailor a solution that works for you both, now and into the future.

The end of a relationship is never easy. Divorce and Separation leave so many practicalities to resolve. And then there is the paramount concern of the children. It can be a difficult and distressing time. We will do everything we can to find an outcome that works for you and your family in a way that keeps both the emotional and financial costs to a minimum.

Whether married or unmarried, Jigsaw can help you help your children at this time of change. With significant past experience in this field, including the representation of children themselves within the court process, we can provide support and guidance on parenting time arrangements and a range of other child related concerns including Grandparental issues and wider family matters.

Many divorcing couples can agree a financial settlement without the need for contested court proceedings and the significant costs that result. We can help you find a solution that suits the individual needs of your family and the resources involved.
The sharing of pensions in divorce or civil partnership dissolution is a highly complex area and one where specialist help is greatly advisable – it is not unusual, for instance, for the pension fund of one spouse to be the most valuable asset of the marriage.

It is critical that the implications of this are fully understood for both as to ignore them can lead to unfair settlements and significant financial prejudice upon retirement. Where necessary, we can seek further input in the form of specialist pension advice from Resolution accredited experts to assist you in exploring the options available and in making informed decisions.

The division of business assets in a way that does not severely prejudice the long term success of the business can often be a challenging area within any settlement discussion. Jigsaw have a background in dealing with complex business matters drawing upon additional advice as required in the fields of tax and valuations.
If you are living together and your relationship ends, you can still use mediation to resolve matters, whether this affects your children’s arrangements, your home or your savings. Since the legal position surrounding unmarried couples finances is different from that where couples are married, early advice is essential.

How much will Mediation cost

Divorce Jigsaw is an independent practice and offers a service that is exceptional value for money.

We combine 30 years of family law experience with specialist mediation skill sets. Whatever you want help with, whether divorce, separation, finances or parenting fixed sessional prices on ‘pay as you go’ terms are available and you will know at every stage how much it will cost.

The total price will depend on the nature of the work you ask us to help you with, as well as your budget. Most matters tend to need at least two meetings. Few will ever need more than five. On average, our clients have x3 1 1/2 hour meetings to resolve their matters. Most matters can be sorted out with the help of one mediator; others may require two or some specialist input such as pension expertise or business valuations. Some may involve direct consultation with children which we can explore with you if helpful.

In these hard pressed times, few, if any, families have money to spare on legal fees for separation and divorce. We recognise that clients’ seek value for money and that every penny counts when financial resources have to stretch two ways. This is why we focus on mediation; because it leaves you in control of the outcome and is invariably cheaper, quicker and almost universally less stressful than the traditional convention of going to court.

We appreciate that all families are unique and that total costs will depend upon the complexity of the case: how easy or otherwise each couple finds it to reach their compromise solution.

  • An individual Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting lasting up to one hour is £125
  • A session of Mediation (per one-and-a-half-hour session) £199 each
  • A Summary of Proposals and Open Financial Summary, if requested, £199 each

Divorce Jigsaw is a private mediation service. If you believe you may be eligible for legal aid you can check by accessing the legal aid calculator here

This is the initial mediation information and assessment meeting where we will meet and we will explain the mediation process. It provides an opportunity to assess whether mediation is the right way forward for you and whether your matter is suitable for mediation. A separate assessment meeting takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour and costs £125. The appointment will take place on your own. Following your appointment you can decide whether you wish to proceed with mediation. If you feel it is not the right process for you we will then supply a FM1 form which is the form you can provide to the Court or solicitor to prove you have attended a mediation information and assessment meeting, otherwise known as a MIAM.

Normally I schedule one and a half hours for each session. Sometimes, it is helpful to continue for 2 hours where progress is being made and we will check this with you at the MIAM and on an ongoing basis and if you both wish to have a longer session we can do so. Most matters tend to need at least two meetings. Few will need more than five.

We do not charge extra for simple letters or telephone calls. If a Memorandum of Understanding is requested then the fee would be £199 each for the preparation of these documents.

We want to reassure you that there are no other hidden costs and you will not receive a large bill at any point during the mediation process. Payment is made at the beginning of each meeting as people usually find this helpful for budgeting purposes.

The overall cost is significantly less than going to court and payment can be made by debit or credit card or cash or bank transfer.

If you have any questions, on costs or anything else, please ask. We are here to help.

Client Feedback

“Liz Tait helped me see clearly through my divorce proceedings. Her company name is very apt as we put the pieces of the jigsaw together to get to a final outcome. My divorce was quite complicated, and I developed cancer whilst proceedings were ongoing. The first person to call me to see how I was after my surgery, was Liz. That tells you the sort of person you are dealing with. She is compassionate and levelheaded. She tells you the truth as it is and I trust her judgement impeccably. The final outcome is that I am extremely happy in my new life and this is in great part down to Liz”.

“With grateful thanks for the tremendous help & guidance you provided through a difficult & painful period. Your professionalism & calming manner made the whole process easier for both parties. I would certainly recommend your service to all.”

“This alternative process has already and will in future make such a big difference in the quality of our lives and relationships with our children – thank you.”

“I would like to thank you for today. You being there made things much easier for me to gain confidence to communicate in an easy manner. I hope from today’s meeting we both improve as a partnership and develop a respectful unit for the children. One step at a time is the key. Once again Liz I am very grateful for your time and all your support.”

“Liz has everything I could hope for in a mediator: she is imaginative, thoughtful, empathetic, resourceful, expert, and above all, funny! One of the most important pieces in the Jigsaw.”
“I would very much like to thank you for your kindness, direction and patience in this extremely difficult situation.”
“Thank you for your time and effort. You have been a great help and made things much easier for us both than they otherwise would have been.”

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