If you are eligible for legal aid, family mediation will be free. If your partner has legal aid for family mediation, you will be charged only for the second and any subsequent mediation sessions – the information and assessment meeting, and first mediation session will be free for you, too.
If you have to pay for mediation, ask your FMC Registered Mediator what their charges are when you first contact them. You might want to phone a few local mediators to compare charges, as these can vary.
As a guide, FMC Registered Mediators charge an average of £140 per person per hour for mediation sessions and drafting documentation, but this will vary depending on the where in the country the mediator is based, and the type of issues you need to discuss.
At the first meeting (often known as a MIAM), the mediator will let you know if they think you may qualify for legal aid. Mediators who have a contract to provide Legal Aid will be able to carry out a formal assessment. You can find an FMC Registered Mediator who offers legal aid by searching here.
The mediator will also be able to give you a more accurate estimate of how much mediation is likely to cost (based on the number of sessions that the mediator thinks that you will need to reach an agreement), and the cost of drafting any necessary documentation.
Can I get legal aid?
If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get legal aid to help pay for one or more of:
- The Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
- Mediation sessions
- Legal help in support for mediation
If your case isn’t suitable for mediation, in some circumstances you might get legal aid for other sorts of legal help.
Legal aid may be available to one or both of you, and each person will be assessed separately. Even if only one person can get legal aid, the fee for the MIAM and the cost of the first full mediation session will be covered for both people.
You can find a mediator who offers legal aid by searching here.