Caroline Fitzpatrick
Family and Matrimonial Law
Charlotte Adler
Emma Post
Georgina Suman
Gillian Hutchfull
Nicola Beale
The Support Staff
The Support Team

Adler Fitzpatrick LLP
4 Castle Street,
Surrey, KT1 1SS

Telephone: 020 8546 6698

Facsimile: 020 8541 1901
DX: 31513 Kingston-Upon-Thames

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Mediation is the voluntary process through which separating couples seek to resolve any issues which may arise between them as a consequence of their separation such as financial matters or arrangements for their children.

The process gives the couple more control over their own decision making with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator, with the aim of avoiding court or costly legal fees.
The mediator cannot give legal advice but can explain the law in an even handed way. The mediator can, with the couples agreement, involved other professionals in mediation such as financial advisors to help with decision making by the couple.

We are able to provide the mediation intake and assessment meetings (MIAMS) required by legal rules prior to the any court applications being made. The MIAM lasts for around 30 minutes during which the mediator explains the benefits of mediation and assesses whether mediation is a suitable option for the couple. There are a narrow set of circumstances in which mediation might not be suitable.


     Who to contact

Charlotte Adler trained with Resolution as a mediator in 2005 and has undertaken numerous mediations since that time. She is able to conduct mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMS) under the Government's new pre-action protocol from 6th April 2011.


1. What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process designed to assist separating couples reach agreement on any issues which may arise between them as a consequence of their separation. Both parties have to agree to attend mediation.

2. If I instruct a lawyer at Adler Fitzpatrick as an individual can they mediate for myself and my partner/spouse?
An individual and mediator from the same firm cannot be instructed by the couple but we may refer out to another mediation provider and work closely with the client alongside the process of mediation providing advice when required, particularly in relation to settlement. In addition we would prepare the paperwork for the court to finalise any agreement proposed at the conclusion of the process.

3. Do I need to instruct a solicitor as well as see a mediator?
It is useful, although not essential, to have an initial meeting with a family lawyer prior to the first mediation session so that you have received some advice from your own perspective. It is important to retain a solicitor during the process to advise if necessary along the way and to draft the necessary documentation at the conclusion of the process.

4. Is an agreement achieved through mediation binding?
The proposals identified at the conclusion of the mediation process will only become a binding agreement when both parties have had an opportunity to take independent legal advice and the intention to create a binding agreement has been subsequently communicated – ideally in writing.

5. Does the mediator do any work outside the mediation sessions?
The mediator may have to read documents prior to a session or prepare a summary after a session, which work will give rise to an additional charge at the mediator's hourly rate. The majority of the work however takes place during the mediation sessions.

6. Can my solicitor attend mediation with me?
Usually the couple will attend mediation on their own as this is most cost effective. The mediator is trained to manage the session and deal with any possible power imbalance or other potential issues to ensure that the environment for mediation is balanced and safe for both parties. However your solicitor may attend the sessions, in particular the final session to advise on proposals.

7. Is mediation only appropriate if my partner/spouse and I are broadly in agreement?
Even the most difficult of cases can be resolved through mediation. No level of initial agreement is required.

8. Who pays the cost?
The cost of mediation is usually paid in equal shares but can be met in whatever way the couple may agree. At Adler Fitzpatrick we are only able to undertake private mediations as we do not offer public funding (legal aid).

9.Can I go to mediation even after a court application is issued?
Mediation can be commenced at any stage, even if court proceedings are already underway and, if appropriate, the court process can be delayed to allow mediation to take place.

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