Legal Services

Mediation Services

Thomson Hayton Winkley offer Family Mediation Services to Kendal, Windermere and the South Lakes.

How can we help?

When relationships break down, emotions run high. There will be important arrangements to be made for the future. Mediation is not about trying to get couples back together - its about helping you after you have separated. Talking face to face with your partner may seem like the hardest thing to do and, sometimes, you will need help to get started and focus on what really matters to you. This is where Thomson Hayton Winkley’s Family Mediation Service can help you.

Alison Moore, Family Mediator and solicitor, based in Kendal.

Our National Family Mediation trained Family Mediator is here to help you reach agreement on how to make the best arrangements for the future, whether that is in relation to financial issues, children or both. Alison Moore is a qualified National Family Mediation Mediator based at our Kendal office and also practises as a family law solicitor. She completed her mediation training in 2012 and has been in practice as a family lawyer for over 20 years.

Alison is happy to be flexible about when to meet with you and would be happy to meet on a weekday before 9.00 am or evenings, to avoid you having to take time off work. Please contact her to discuss the process and whether it is right for you, or for any more information please call 01539 721945.

What is Family Mediation?

If you have just separated, or are getting a divorce, dissolving a civil partnership or have been separated for a while, you might need to sort out arrangements with your ex or other family members.

Family Mediation is a process involving our specially trained Family Mediator who will help you to reach agreement about how to make the best arrangements for the future, either in respect of children, finances or any other issues that arise following your separation. Our Family Mediator will always be impartial and will assist both of you equally to resolve problems.

The Mediator is not there to impose solutions upon you, nor to give either of you legal advice. They will work with both of you equally to find a solution to your problems, sharing legal information where appropriate.

Why choose Mediation?

Mediation brings real benefits in that it:

  • Avoids the risks and substantial cost of going to Court
  • Reduces tension and hostility
  • Helps you make informed and creative decisions that are right for your circumstances
  • Helps children by showing that parents can work together to resolve issues
  • Our National Family Mediation trained Mediator is also a qualified and practicing solicitor who understands the law as well as being trained in mediation skills
  • Discussions take place in the comfort and safety of our offices
  • Our Family Mediator gives you impartial guidance, information and help, so that together, practical and fair solutions can be reached for the benefit of you and your family
  • It saves you money and time

When should I try family mediation?

Contact a mediator as soon as you need help sorting things out. Even if you’ve been separated for a while, or if your case has already gone to Court, mediation can still help to resolve things.

You cannot usually take your case to Court until you find out if mediation can help you first. In most cases, if you cannot show that you’ve considered it, the judge will stop or delay proceedings until you have.

Once you have found a mediator, the next step is to attend a first meeting with them to find out if it is right for you. Sometimes this is called a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

If you think you need legal advice to help you during mediation, this can be arranged at any time during the process.

The assessment meeting (MIAM)

The first meeting with a mediator is often called a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Whether it’s called a MIAM or a first meeting it will cover the same things.

The first meeting with a mediator gives you the chance to find out how mediation works. Mediators are trained to work out with you whether mediation is right for you and your family. They will also discuss how many sessions you may need and how much they would cost.

The mediator can also give you information about other services that provide help and support and the other options you might have to resolve things.

Do I have to go to a MIAM?

If you want to take your case to court it is now – in most cases – a legal requirement to attend a MIAM. The other person involved is also expected to attend a MIAM, but they do not have to go to the same meeting as you.

There are exemptions that mean you might not have to go to a MIAM. It can also be agreed at the MIAM that mediation isn’t right for you. There is a range of options available for resolving family disputes so, even if mediation isn’t right for you, court isn’t the only other option.

What does a MIAM cost?

We charge £60.00 per person (inclusive of VAT) for an individual MIAM. If mediation does not proceed, then there is a further charge of £36.00 (inclusive of VAT) to produce the paperwork required by the court. You will need to pay for the MIAM on the day that you attend.

Who goes to the meeting?

These meetings can be held separately from your ex. However you can go to the meeting together if you prefer. You can choose. Time will always be spent with each person alone to make sure they have made their own decision to come to mediation and are not at risk of any harm or abuse.

How much does Mediation cost?

In addition to the initial meeting, or MIAM, if mediation goes ahead a couple will need, on average, 4 mediation sessions – with each session lasting 1 ½ hours. With this example, the cost of the sessions and the preparation of the relevant documentation would, if shared equally, be £750 each, including VAT. This is considerably less than the cost of reaching an agreement using your own solicitors – which is typically likely to be around £3000 each and can be even more if disputes have to be resolved in Court.

To enable you to understand the charges fully, and make comparisons with other providers, we have set out our fees below.

Per person inc VAT Per couple inc VAT
One session (1.5 hrs) £120.00 £240.00
Follow-up paperwork between sessions (usually 0.5 hr) £30.00 £60.00
Producing final summaries £180.00 £360.00

Example Pricing

On average, a couple will need 3-5 sessions to resolve their issues but more or less may be needed depending upon the issues and degree of complexity.

If you use your own solicitor to reach an agreement, it could typically cost around £3000 each, and considerably more if the dispute ends up in court. As an example, for an individual requiring 4 sessions, the total costs would be:

4 sessions x 1.5 hrs 480.00
Follow-up paperwork between sessions x 3 90.00
Summaries 180.00
Total £750.00

You can download this information via our helpful booklet, What is Family Mediation? (PDF).

To book your Mediation appointment please print, complete and return our Mediation Referral Form (PDF). Forms can be posted or returned in person to:

Thomson Hayton Winkley
114 - 116 Stricklandgate

or scanned and emailed to

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Call us on 01539 721945 or complete our Free Enquiry Form and we will be in touch soon (no cost or obligation):

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Contact Details

Kendal Office: 114–116 Stricklandgate, Kendal , LA9 4QA T: 01539 721945

Windermere Office: 25 Crescent Road, Windermere, LA23 1BJ T: 015394 46585

Kirkby Lonsdale Office: 29 Main Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2AH T: 015242 71222

J36 Rural Auction Centre: Crooklands, Milnthorpe, LA7 7FP T: 015395 67571