Costs and Fixed Fees
One of the most important questions that you will have is how much will it cost to come to mediation. Sometimes it can be really daunting thinking about how much it will cost you to resolve matters. This can also make the fact that you aren’t able to resolve matters between yourselves more frustrating. You may be really worried about money. For a lot of people they are able to pay all the bills in one house, but they have no idea how they will manage to fund two homes on the incomes that they have. These are all concerns that you can address together in mediation. In mediation you work through different options and look at how they will work in practice. It enables you to find the option that you both feel will work best. Sometimes it might be an option that you haven’t thought of yet. A knowledgeable mediator will be able to generate options that you may not have considered from their experience of working with separating couples.
How much will mediation cost?
Here at LKW Family Mediation we start by meeting with each of you individually in order to get some background information and to make certain that mediation is the right process for you. There aren’t many reasons why it wouldn’t be, but as you will both be sat in the same room together we want to make sure that it’s a safe place for everyone. The initial meetings also enable you to learn more about mediation so you can see if it’s the right process for you. The costs quoted are for meeting at our office in Dorking, on the basis that you will both attend joint meetings together in the same room. Sometimes you may feel you need to be in separate rooms and this is called shuttle mediation. You can talk to the mediator if you think this applies to you. Please be aware of the fact that shuttle mediation is slightly more expensive because the mediator incurs extra charges for booking meeting rooms. Additionally, we also offer mediation by way of online meetings. If you think you will need to mediate online then please have a look at the costs of our online service. For those attending meetings in person the initial individual meetings last for approximately 45 minutes to an hour and cost £140 (for each meeting).
If having met with the mediator you both wish to move into mediation then you can book a joint meeting. These meetings generally last for 1.5 hours (you can make subsequent meetings longer if you feel this would be helpful but we suggest you get a feel for the 1.5 hour meeting first). The 1.5 hour meeting costs £375 and this is usually split 50:50 but it can be paid in whatever proportions you choose. If you’re still funding your expenses from a joint account then making two payments may be unnecessary.
None of our fees attract VAT.
Please note that the above fees reflect the increase in our charges effective from 1st March 2018. This is only the second increase in our charges in 5 years and we have unfortunately had to make this change because we are no longer able to levy separate charges for taking card payments. As a small business we incur quite large charges for taking these payments. This does mean that you can choose to pay however you feel will be most convenient (cash, cheque, card payment or bank transfer).
How many joint meetings will I need?
Averagely couples require 3 to 5 sessions to resolve matters in mediation. This is very much an average and you may only need 1 or 2 sessions, or you may need 6. The number of sessions generally depends on:
- How many issues you feel you need to resolve.
- How much work you will each be able to do between sessions to move forward your discussions by finding out further information and considering and evaluating options.
- How motivated you each are to find a compromise.
Once you have found a way forward that you think will work for you you can then look at formalising this. We can prepare documents that summarise both your financial situation, called an Open Financial Statement (based on the information that you provide to us) and the summary of what you would like to formalise as your own personal arrangements, called a Memorandum of Understanding. We can also prepare a Parenting Plan to summarise the arrangements you want to put in place for your children.
The costs of preparing those documents are as follows:
Open Financial Statement, £250
Memorandum of Understanding, £300
Parenting Plan, £200
These costs include our costs of preparing the documents and amending them in line with any changes that you would like made. Most documents take between 2 and 4 hours for the mediator to prepare and amend.
You can choose to pay on a session by session basis so that you only pay for what mediation you need. Alternatively we do also offer fixed fee packages to bring down the costs of the mediation. You pay these at your first joint session and the costs are non-refundable. They do not include the costs of your initial meetings because we do not ask anyone to commit to mediation until after they have attended a first meeting and had time to consider whether the process is right for them. By taking out a fixed fee package you both commit to resolving matters in mediation. The cost of these are as follows:
3 session fixed fee package: £1,000 (saves you £125)
Up to 6 sessions including Open Financial Statement and Memorandum of Understanding: £2,500 (saves you £300)
For a service that offers fixed fee mediation together with legal advice, an introduction to counselling and financial advice please have a look at Surrey Divorce Solutions which we are proud to be a part of.