Ian Walker Family mediatorFamily Mediation

Family Mediation is a process of assisted negotiation. A couple meet with an independent mediator who will assist them to discuss and resolve the issues that they wish to resolve. The discussions are confidential.

The mediator will want to make sure that meetings are focused and both are able to put their point of view. There are often several meetings. In financial cases, both must give full financial disclosure. The mediator will help the couple to concentrate on the issues, to listen to each other and to make informed decisions.

Our Family Mediation Service

Our Family Mediators are Lisa Holden and Ian Walker. Both Ian and Lisa also Solicitors and are Accredited to provide Family Mediation by the Family Mediation Council. Both are experienced mediators with Ian having been a mediator since the 1990’s.

Ian Walker is also Family Mediation Accredited by the Law Society and is a Child Law Arbitrator with Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA). Our inside knowledge of Arbitration allows us to offer a Mediation with Arbitration Service, where couples can commit to the Arbitrator (a private judge) making a legally binding decision if mediation fails (which it sometimes does).

Specialists in Family Mediation of divorce financial cases

Mediation is a good way of reaching agreement on financial issues when there is a divorce. To make agreements binding, there still needs to be a Court Order approved by a Judge. After a financial family mediation has concluded our mediators can then prepare the financial order if instructed by both clients as a solicitor to act on a neutral basis.

Ian Walker represents clients in divorce finance cases acting as solicitors. This means that when acting as neutral mediators we can provide up to date legal information on a neutral basis. We are well placed to ensure that clients have addressed all the matters they need to and decisions are robust.

Julie Cornwell Family mediatorSpecialists in Family Mediation in complex children disputes

Ian Walker has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel since 1992. This means lots of experience at representing parents in court in complex cases. We know from our vast experience that whilst mediation is not always easy, and requires hard work to achieve real change, that family mediation often offers a better alternative to fighting things out in Court.

The voice of children is always important. Sometimes it is helpful or necessary for children’s voices to be heard in mediation to help their parents to make decisions. When this is the case we are assisted by our Children Consultant; Julie Cornwell, who is an independent social worker with many years experience working for CAFCASS as a Children’s Guardian and Court Reporter.

legal 500 leading firm logoSpecialists in Family Mediation in complex divorce financial matters

As a solicitor, Lisa Holden has been in practice as a solicitor for more than 20 years. She is also a Collaborative lawyer and specialises in dealing with all family related matters including complex finances, children issued and financial settlements. In particular Lisa has experience in military pensions and armed forces divorces. Lisa was a Partner for 17 years in a Dorset law firm and has been recognised by Legal 500. Lisa has particular expertise in family mediation in complex divorce financial matters.

Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings

It is now a Legal requirement that a person who wishes to apply to the Court about a family matter must (unless a limited exemption applies) meet with an approved Mediator to consider Mediation first. The other party will also be expected to meet with the mediator for family issues. Failure to do so could lead to a costs order being made against them. The preliminary Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (called a MIAM) is compulsory. In most cases it is expected that mediation will follow.

Both Lisa Holden and Ian Walker are authorised to undertake Family Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings.

Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency and can provide FREE Mediation to those who qualify.