You do not have to pay for mediation if you are eligible for public funding (Legal Aid). We set out below information about our fees.
You may be eligible for publicly funded mediation for the mediation process. To allow us to check whether you qualify, we need you to bring proof of your income and your savings/capital to your MIAM.
If you are eligible for public funding the MIAM and any subsequent mediation will be free to you. Even if you are not eligible, the initial meeting may still be FREE.
To qualify for public funding, we need to look at two separate issues, your capital and your income.
In terms of capital, your capital must not exceed £8,000. We can ignore the first £100,000 of any assets in dispute. If your capital is over this limit you may not be eligible for public funding.
If you qualify in terms of capital, we then consider income as explained below.
If you (or the partner with whom you live) are in receipt of Income Support, Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Based Employment Support Allowance, Guarantee Credit or Universal Credit (and you qualify in terms of capital) you are automatically entitled to free mediation.
Otherwise, we need to see proof of your income and savings to check whether you qualify for free mediation. Income includes the wages of you and your partner, most state benefits (including child Benefit and tax credits), maintenance you receive for children living with you, and any other sources of income. Some state benefits (for example Disability Living Allowance) are disregarded.
To calculate your disposable income, fixed deductions are made based on the number of your dependants, and an allowance for employment expenses. Other allowances are made for tax, national insurance, maintenance paid by you, housing costs, and childcare costs incurred for work.
To assess your eligibility for public funding we need to see evidence of your income from all sources (for example a letter confirming benefits award or bank statement showing receipt of a specific benefit, tax credit grant, wage slips, business accounts). If you live with a new partner we also need to see evidence of their income.
PLEASE NOTE IF EVIDENCE IS NOT PROVIDED, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ASSESS YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR PUBLIC FUNDING WHICH MAY DELAY MATTERS FOR YOU.
Detailed eligibility calculation for public funding
The gross (before tax/NI) income of you and any partner living with you should not exceed £2,657
This includes all sources of income – ie pay, tax credits, maintenance from an ex partner, child benefit
If your income is below £2,657, the next stage of calculation is to deduct the following:
• Income tax paid each month for you and any partner living with you
• National insurance paid each month for you and any partner living with you
• If you have a partner living with you, an allowance of £177.50.
• An allowance for each dependent child of £285.13.
• An allowance for work related expenses for you and partner of £45 each
• Your housing costs (rent or mortgage). If you have no dependents, this is capped at £545
• Childminding costs where your partner is not available to look after your child.
If the figure is £733 per month or less then you will be eligible for free mediation, if not then the following charges will apply
IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PUBLIC FUNDING/LEGAL AID
If you are not eligible for public funding, the cost of one person attending the MIAM will be £115 (which includes the vat).
This fee can be paid by cash or debit/credit card and must be paid on the day of the MIAM.
If you former partner is in receipt of legal aid then the initial meeting is FREE.
The cost of mediation is £120 per hour plus VAT for each person. Mediation meetings are usually for one hour and thirty minutes. Therefore the cost for each person for a one hour thirty minute mediation meeting will be £216 inclusive of VAT. Fees for mediation sessions are paid on the day of the mediation meeting by cash or debit/credit card.
If your former partner is in receipt of legal aid then the initial meeting is FREE. You would need to pay for any follow up work or subsequent meetings.
Whilst there is no fixed number of meetings, we find the average is as follows: To discuss issues relating to children alone – 1 to 2 meetings (£216 to £432 inc VAT per person)
To discuss issues relating to financial and property matters alone – 2 to 4 meetings (£432 to £864 inc VAT per person)
To discuss all issues (children and financial and property matters) – 2 to 4 meetings (£432 to £864 inc VAT per person)
We do not charge for routine letters and/or telephone calls, however if we are required to prepare an interim summary for your solicitors in the mediation process or a detailed summary at the conclusion of the process with proposals, we will discuss the fee with you, but usually this will not exceed a further one to two hours work (£144 to £288 inc VAT per person) in addition to the meetings.