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? (Prices below reflect the increased prices that was due to take effect on 1st April but was postponed to 1st September 2020 in light of the situation with COVID-19)
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 initial individual meetings last for approximately 45 minutes to an hour and cost £150. If you think you will need to mediate online then please have a look at the costs of our online service. We have been offering online meetings only during the pandemic but are now returning to offering some physical meetings – with appropriate safeguards. All clients will have the choice of whether to attend online meetings or meetings in person.
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 £400 and this is usually split 50:50 but you can choose to do this differently. This fee is based on you both attending joint meetings in the same room. If you need to attend meetings in separate rooms (called shuttle mediation) then the 1.5 hour joint meeting costs £450. Please talk to the mediator if you think you will need to be in separate rooms. The cost of the meeting covers all the mediator’s preparation for the meeting (for example going through any financial information you have provided), together with a summary of your discussions and the next steps you need to take following the meeting. The meeting costs also include support from the mediator between sessions but this is limited to providing information to you both as mediators cannot offer mediation of issues by email.
None of our fees attract VAT.
How many joint meetings will I need?
Averagely couples require 3 to 5 sessions to resolve matters in mediation. Attending 4 mediation sessions plus the initial meetings would cost a separating couple £1,900. 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.
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 ( saving you £200)
Up to 6 sessions including Open Financial Statement and Memorandum of Understanding: £2,900 (saves you £450).
Once you have found a way forward that you think will work for you you can then look at formalising this and we can prepare documents for you to enable you to do this. Those documents and their costs are (if not included in the above fixed fee package):
Open Financial Statement, £300
This summarises your financial situation in a clear and concise way which will help you get advice on what you want to achieve. The information is provided on an ‘open’ basis which means it can be shown to the court (if you were to go to court at a later date. Most people who have resolved things in mediation don’t need to).
Memorandum of Understanding, £350
This document summarises the arrangements you want to make and why you have decided to do this. It enables a lawyer to prepare a Consent Order on your behalf to formalise arrangements quickly and easily as they shouldn’t need to obtain any further information or to carry out any negotiations on their behalf. This document is prepared on a ‘without prejudice’ basis which means it couldn’t be shown to the court.
Parenting Plan, £250
This document summarises arrangements you want to make for your children. You can include as much detail as you feel is important for you.
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.
If anything isn’t clear, or you’d like further information, or to ask questions specific to you then please get in touch.