Family mediation

Separation and divorce is an especially difficult time, when it can be hard to talk constructively. Family mediation helps you resolve your issues – constructively and cost effectively – and is usually a far better option than going to court or negotiating through lawyers.

Family mediation: helping you to have a constructive dialogue

Family mediation consists of a series of discussions for which you set the agenda, and which our family mediator helps to facilitate.

We have some of the most experienced family mediators in the country, and a reputation for resolving issues constructively. We can help to resolve issues about your housing, your maintenance requirements, your business or, most importantly, your children.

During family mediation, we:

  • Help to analyse financial data and make sure you each have enough information to be able to proceed 
  • Supply ideas as to how to achieve a settlement 
  • Give guidance as to what a range of fair solutions might be 
  • Give advice about family issues and possible solutions
  • Give you both as much information as you need about the law and your options to enable you both to find a way forward

Family mediation provides a cost effective way of discussing your finances. Discussing your position face-to-face often also makes the ultimate settlement easier to accept and more likely to be implemented.

We can advise on a consultancy basis, if you choose to mediate elsewhere. We can prepare you for the family mediation and explain how to get the best out of it.

We are also able to conduct lawyer assisted family mediation if necessary. This is often used when legal discussions have reached a stalemate, in an attempt to resolve remaining issues and avoid court fees.

Even if you are in the middle of court proceedings, it is not too late to mediate.

Mediation and legal support throughout the mediation process can be done on an hourly charge out rate or a fixed fee where appropriate.

Our lawyers

  • Eleven of our family and divorce lawyers are also qualified family mediators. All of them have leading reputations in this area of work. We also offer three family mediators qualified in the commercial model of lawyer-to-lawyer mediation, as well as three family arbitrators. 
  • All of our family lawyers are members of Resolution, an organisation that promotes a conciliatory and constructive approach to family law. With partner Nigel Shepherd being a past chair of Resolution.

Our experience 

  • All of our family mediators have 10 to 25 years of experience in family law and helping clients with family problems. This benefits our clients as family mediation requires a firm grasp of how to deal with the personalities involved as well as with the legal and financial background. 
  • Our family mediators are very experienced in dealing with cases involving children’s issues alone, or combinations of issues including various financial problems. We are often asked to deal with matters of considerable complexity because of our understanding of businesses, trusts and other specialist areas of law. 
  • Our family law team has been involved in settling a substantial piece of family litigation in the High Court, successfully conducting a single family mediation session between the FDR hearing and the final hearing. As a consequence, very substantial legal fees were saved.

Our clients

  • Clients are often referred to us by other lawyers, to mediate on various family issues. We have a reputation for being constructive and creative in helping couples find solutions. 
  • The couples who mediate with us come from all walks of life. They may wish to mediate about the arrangements for their children, or they may wish to resolve complex financial issues.

What our clients and others say about us

Our family lawyers are regarded nationally as market leaders. We are highly rated in both the leading independent guides to the legal profession, Chambers UK and Legal 500. Comments from peers and clients about our lawyers include the following:

  • “Mills & Reeve is described as a ‘progressive firm’, and this is demonstrated in its tailored and flexible approach to matters … ‘they’re at the forefront of what they do’ say sources.” (Chambers UK) 
  • “Mills & Reeve consistently receives exceptional client reviews ...” (Legal 500) 
  • “Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘top-rate firm for finance and childcare matters’, and prioritises ‘conciliatory advice, avoiding unnecessary litigation’.” (Legal 500) 
  • “Mills & Reeve offers ‘a service which compares well with leading London firms’.” (Legal 500) 
  • “achieves outstanding results … ; clients recall his ‘emotional understanding; he was non-confrontational but had the integrity to know when to stand his ground effectively’.” (Chambers UK) 
  • “… ‘patient, tenacious, and has a sense of humour and fair play’.” (Legal 500) 
  • “…’inspires confidence’ in clients …” (Legal 500) 
  • “attracts praise for her ‘co-operative and collaborative’ approach to family law.” (Chambers UK)

Legal resources you may find useful 

  • mediation on divorce – our family law website offering free information on divorce, including guidance and video content covering mediation. 
  • For lawyer assisted mediation see mediation with lawyers
  • The Family through Divorce – a guide to the legal and emotional issues – Roger Bamber, joint author with psychologist Dr Janet Reibstein and psychiatrist Dr Jeannette Josse 
  • Family Law Hub – this is a groundbreaking knowhow base available for subscription online. It contains Mills & Reeve’s knowhow and legal research, together with video content on legal topics.
  • Examples of how mediation can work in practice – has a number of examples of how mediation can work when resolving financial, children and high conflict issues.