ABOUT STEP BY STEP FAMILY MEDIATION
We are a family mediation service based in the South East London area of Shooter’s Hill, making it an ideal location for clients right across Greenwich and Bexley.
We provide a safe and neutral space where people involved in family breakdown can resolve issues and reach practical agreements that are in the best interests of all concerned. Mediation is a step by step process which allows couples and families to take ownership of their own decisions and move forward with their lives in a positive way.
Mediation is an alternative to negotiating through solicitors, arbitration or going through the courts.
MEET THE TEAM
Sam qualified as a Solicitor in 1997 and specialises in all areas of Family Law, but particularly divorce and financial settlements. Knowing from professional experience the emotional and financial costs of proceeding through the courts to resolve family disputes, Sam has become passionate about assisting separating couples reach a fair outcome through mediation. Sam is a mother to two teenage boys and is a former governor at a local secondary school. As a solicitor, she has been a member of Resolution and an Advanced Member of the Law Society’s Family Panel for many years.
Jane studied at Liverpool John Moores and the University of Leicester. She has a wealth of experience working with both children and adults as a school teacher, writer and conference speaker. Jane is married to a church minister and in that capacity has supported many families who have experienced pain and trauma. As well as bringing up her own children she has been a foster carer and has facilitated various groups in the community ranging from teaching English as a second language to music and movement classes for parents and toddlers.
Both Sam and Jane have been trained by and are members of the Family Mediators Association. They adhere to the professional requirements of the Family Mediation Council.
Our team approach enables us to combine our different experience and skills. This provides a broad and balanced service which whilst being legally robust, keeps sight of the wider emotional and practical issues involved in family separation. Where children are involved we are always unashamedly and pro actively child focused.
Sam O'Dwyer and Jane McNabb
WHAT TO EXPECT
At the first appointment we will see you both separately and at different times. The principles of mediation will be explained, what happens next and what is expected of you. The mediators will also assess whether it is appropriate to mediate.
If all the parties are happy to continue then a joint mediation appointment will be made and an AGREEMENT TO MEDIATE form will be signed by everyone to show willingness to participate in the process.
SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS
The second and subsequent sessions will take place with all parties present.
It will be established at this meeting what issues need to be looked at and what agenda you wish to set. If financial arrangements need to be discussed then you will be asked to complete a financial information form and in due course provide supporting documentation.
The mediators will help you talk through the issues and may use a flip chart to set out the main issues that need to be agreed. The mediators are impartial and do not take sides or give legal advice. At any time during the process you may find it helpful to speak to your solicitor. The mediator is there to help and facilitate you reaching an agreement that is in everyone's best interests.
It takes on average 3 to 5 sessions depending on what needs to be resolved and the complexity of the case. Each session usually last 1 1/2 hours. You are only charged for the sessions that you undertake.
FINAL APPOINTMENT AND OUTCOME
When an agreement is reached the mediators will prepare 2 documents.
A Summary of Financial Information will be prepared if financial issues have been resolved. This is an "open" document which means that it is a factual summary of the parties' financial details. This statement can be used in any financial application at court.
The second document is a Summary of Proposals that you have agreed to in mediation. Whilst this remains a "privileged" document (which means it cannot be used in court proceedings) you can of course show it to your legal advisor. Once agreement is reached you can request that they prepare a Consent Order which will then be sent to the court for approval. This is particularly necessary if you have reached an agreement to split pensions.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cost of family mediation is far less than negotiating through solicitors or using the courts to resolve your disputes because:
Our rates are generally lower.
The clients split the cost of each session between them rather than each paying separate solicitors (with the exception of the individual initial assessment meetings).
The mediatory process which should be concluded in 3 -5 sessions is much quicker than going through the court system ( taking from as little as 3 months in comparison with 12-18 months).
INITIAL ASSESSMENT MEETING
£100 per person (This includes a court form if required)
JOINT MEDIATION SESSIONS
£150 per person
This is a 1 hour 30 minutes session and includes any correspondence, telephone calls and emails.
PREPARATION OF DOCUMENTS
Open Financial Summary and Confidential Summary of Proposals £120 per hour.
If a shuttle mediation is required you will be charged for the cost of additional room hire plus the extra time needed at £50 per 30 minutes per person.
All prices are inclusive of VAT
Payment is required before each session either by cash or bank transfer. Please ensure any cancellation or rescheduling is dealt with within 48 hours of appointment to avoid fees being incurred.
Step by Step are ‘processors’ of personal data for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation. You consent to us processing your personal data for the purposes of Mediation. You understand that this includes our retaining and storing your personal data for as long as is necessary, to include a period of 6 years after the mediation concludes, in case of complaint. We may retain data for research and statistical purposes but on the understanding that if used for this purpose all identifying details will have been removed. We will not process your data for any other purpose.
GET IN TOUCH
020 8016 2380
We usually mediate at
Shrewsbury House Community Centre
Please note that as this is not our office address we cannot receive postal correspondence here.