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.
We are very aware of the pressures of meeting the costs of mediation and legal advice during a separation and how much separating couples worry about this. For this reason we have adopted a pricing structure whereby you only pay for the services you are using. This enables you to choose whether to incur a particular cost e.g for photocopying rather than it automatically being included in your costs. We now charge differently for online and in person meetings to ensure that those that mediate online are not being charged for physical office space. It is always your choice whether to attend meetings online or in person. If you’re not sure which will work best then ask the mediator.
How much will mediation cost? (The prices below detail our costs from 1st April 2022*. We only increase our prices every 2 years and try to keep any increases as modest as possible. Unfortunately like everyone we have noticed our costs as a business rising in recent months)
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 potentially 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. We can also provide tailored signposting to services, information, books and other resources that may be of benefit to you. The initial individual meetings last for approximately 45 minutes to an hour and the cost is based on whether you see us in person or online.
Online initial meeting – £165
In person initial meeting – £185
*clients who have already started in mediation will not pay the increased charges provided their mediation meetings all take place by 1st October 2022.
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).
Joint meeting costs
1.5 hour meeting online £425
1.5 hour meeting in person £450
2 hour meeting online £575
2 hour meeting in person £600
The joint meeting costs are usually split 50:50 between each party but you can choose to share them differently if you wish.
The cost of the meeting covers up to an hour of 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.
Sometimes separating couples find it hard to be in the same room together for a variety of reasons. Mediation can therefore take place on a shuttle basis with you each in different rooms. This can be done either in person or online. If you think this might be the best option then talk to the mediator. There is no doubt that shuttle mediation is less effective because you’re not hearing what each other are saying but for some couples it can be the difference between being able to mediate and not being able to mediate.
Shuttle mediation meetings are always two hours long because it takes longer to facilitate discussion when the mediator has to move between the two of you. The costs of shuttle mediation online are the same as a 2 hour meeting above (£575). For shuttle mediation in person the costs are slightly increased because we are required to rent a further meeting room. Please talk to the mediator about shuttle mediation if you feel it is needed.
2 hour shuttle meeting in person, £650
How many joint meetings will I need?
Averagely couples require 3 to 5 sessions to resolve matters in mediation. Attending 4 ninety minute mediation sessions plus the initial meetings would cost a separating couple £2,030 online or £2,170 in person. 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:
Online 3 x 90 minute sessions fixed fee package: £1,100 ( saving you £250)
In person 3 x 90 minute sessions fixed fee package: £1,200 (saving you £150)
Up to 6 x 90 minute sessions online including Open Financial Statement and Memorandum of Understanding: £2,800 (saves you £300).
Up to 6 x 90 minute sessions in person including Open Financial Statement and Memorandum of Understanding: £3,000 (saves you £250).
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 and Memorandum of Understanding, £550
The Open Financial Statement 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).
The Memorandum of Understanding 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 you need us to provide you with photocopies of documents or an additional copy of financial disclosure then we offer this for 20p per A4 sheet.
If anything isn’t clear, or you’d like further information, or to ask questions specific to you then please get in touch.