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Your Mediation Certificate – (what you NEED to know in 2020)

May 2, 2020 | News

Mediation Certificate

Everything that you need to know …

It is not unusual to have so many questions about the mediation certificate and what you have to do with it when you have it. We have collected all the questions that our clients have asked us over the years we have been mediating, and have come up with this Frequently Asked Questions list. If your question is not here, please let us know by completing the form on the Contact Us page. The questions are listed randomly.

How soon can I get a mediation certificate?

It is understood that sometimes mediation is not always appropriate and you only require the certificate to go to court. Some mediation firms offer same day service, but with us we can offer you an online appointment within the hour with one of our accredited family mediators. At the end of this appointment, your certificate can be issued immediately. We have appointments available Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and also on a Saturday. We can offer such availability because we have over 80 mediators working with us across England and Wales.

Do I need a mediation certificate to go to court?

In short, yes. When you complete either the C100 form or the Form A, there is a page for the mediator to complete. On the C100 it is page 9 and at the top of the page it says, “4. Mediator certifies that the prospective applicant is exempt from attendance at Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), or confirms MIAM attendance”. On the Form A it is page 10 and has the same title. There are some instances that you don’t need to complete the MIAM and these reasons are clearly listed on the Family Mediation Council website. It is important, that when you look at these exemptions, to remember they have to apply to you (the applicant), and not the other person (the respondent).

Why do I need to get a mediation certificate?

Basically, the courts believe that they should only ever intervene in the lives of people as a last resort. The reason why Mediation Information & Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) were brought in, was to explain to people that there is another way to resolve disputes and that court was not the only way. The purpose of the MIAM, is to learn about another way of sorting out problems, to give you a time to reflect, and to make an informed decision as to whether court is the only way to go.

Who can issue a mediation certificate?

It is really important that you know your family mediator is accredited and is allowed to sign the court form/mediation certificate. There are businesses that say they are family mediators, but are not accredited. This is because the family mediation industry is self-regulated, and as a result some people take advantage of this. It takes two minutes to see if your mediator is accredited and has permission to sign the court form. All you need to do is visit the Family Mediation Council website and do a search. See below for a sample result.

How much does a mediation certificate cost?

This varies greatly, as some mediation firms charge you a separate fee for issuing you the certificate and this can be anything up to £50. Other firms, like us, have the certificate fee included in the MIAM fee, so you don’t have any nasty surprises. Always remember, you need to have a MIAM before you get your certificate. This meeting can last up to approximately an hour. If you don’t have this meeting and you are offered a certificate immediately, please seek advice from the Family Mediation Council.

I have a mediation certificate. What next?

The process can be very confusing, and that is why we give a free guide to our clients, who are making an application to the family court for a Child Arrangements Order. We have also teamed up with the Family Court Application Service, who can support you completing the court forms, whether you decide to do it online or print it out.

Are there different types of mediation certificates?

Yes, there are two, but they are for the two different court applications – Form A (financial matters) and C100 Form (child arrangements). Your mediator will ensure you have the correct one, but they do look very similar. However, you can request both if you are facing the financial and child issues.

What is the process to get a mediation certificate?

You need to attend a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This can be online or in person at a registered mediation venue. The MIAM usually takes up to an hour, and during this time, you and your mediator will decide as to whether mediation is appropriate after considering your situation. If mediation is not the way forward, then the mediator should issue your certificate immediately. Your mediation certificate can also be issued during the mediation process. If you start mediation and then decide it is not working, you can also ask the mediator to issue the certificate.

How are mediation certificates sent out?

Mediation certificates can be issued in a number of ways. The most common is by email in a PDF format. If you are making a paper application, you will need to print it out. The mediator can also send you the certificate by post, if you do not have a computer or a printer. There should be no cost, but it is best to check.

Does my ex get a copy of the mediation certificate?

This very much depends as and when the certificate is issued. If your ex, or the other party decline the invitation to mediation, then they will not receive a copy of the certificate. If mediation starts and then it breaks down, the mediator will issue both of you the certificate.

What is written on my mediation certificate?

There is a lot of text on the certificate, but both certificates for the Form A and the C100 Form say the same. The mediator has to tick the box or boxes that applies to your situation. Here are some examples: 1) I don’t want to go ahead with mediation, and go straight to court without asking my ex or the other person in the dispute – in this situation the mediator would tick, “The applicant has attended a MIAM alone, and the applicant does not wish to start or continue mediation”. Just remember, you may be asked why you did not wish to attend mediation by the courts. 2) Your ex or the other party does not respond, or says no to mediation, “The applicant has attended a MIAM alone and the respondent did not wish to attend a MIAM”. 3) The mediator may also decide that mediation is not appropriate and in these circumstances the mediator would tick, “the mediator has determined that mediation is unsuitable”. This may be after both of you have attended a MIAM. 4) Another common situation is the mediation between the two of you breaks down, and the mediator would select one of these two options on the form, “Mediation has started, but has: broken down; or concluded with some or all issues unresolved”. There are numerous variations, but the above are the most common.

How long is my mediation certificate valid for?

At the bottom of the mediation certificate, the mediator will add a date. It is valid for 4 months from that date. For example, if your certificate shows 1 April 2020, you need to submit your application to court before the 1st August 2020. If you make the application after that date, the court will refuse your application and you will need to do another MIAM.

Can I ask for my mediation certificate and still continue with mediation?

Yes, you can, and this happens very often, especially when you want to have something agreed in mediation turned into a court order. In reality, it takes a long time to get a court hearing date, and it can also help focus the discussions in mediation, knowing that a court is coming and that the matter is very serious.

How do I know a mediation certificate is genuine?

On a mediation certificate, the mediator will write down their FMC Registration Number. This number is unique to the mediator. It comprises of four numbers and a letter i.e. 1326A. The “A” stands for Accredited. If you go onto the Family Mediation Council website, you can do a search and check. It is important that it says “Qualified to Sign Court Forms”. There is also a section that says “Accredited for: All Issues”. This means your mediator can sign forms for Child Arrangements (C100) and also for financial matters (Form A).  

What happens if my ex changes their mind about mediation and I already have my mediation certificate?

You can come back to mediation at any time, there is no issue. However, it must be within the 4-month window (see the date of your certificate). If it is after this, you will need to do a new MIAM to be able to start the mediation process. If it is within this period, then there is no problem.

Can I collect my mediation certificate in person from your office?

Some mediation firms may allow you to collect certificates from their offices; however, it is common practise for firms to send them out by post or by email.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly can I receive my mediation certificate?

The question is how quickly can you get an appointment, as you will need to have a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM). Most mediators work office hours, but Direct Mediation Services open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., including Saturdays. This allows people who work full time to get their appointment without having to take time off.

What is the cost of a mediation certificate?

This varies from firm to firm, but the average cost would be from £120. Always ask if the price includes VAT. There may be a higher cost if you have a weekend appointment or out of office hours.

How long does the mediation certificate last?

The certificate lasts four months from the date of issue, which is clearly recorded at the bottom of the certificate. If the certificate expires, you will need to have another Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

What do I do with the mediation certificate?

When your mediator has issued you with a mediation certificate, you can now make your application to court, whether this is for a Child Arrangements Order (C100) or a financial consent order (Form A).

Summary

Many people in England and Wales who face family conflict, generally do not think about the option of family mediation, but get on the telephone to a solicitor, in the hope of resolving a situation. In many countries, mediation is seen to be the first step you take instead of going to the court house. What mediation aims to do, is to de-escalate the situation, allowing you to see if the problems can be sorted out without the need of expensive legal action. The many benefits of mediation are that you can possibly save thousands of pounds, shorten the period of time you take resolving the problems and be in charge of the decision-making process, instead of a court being in charge.

Direct Mediation Services is a dynamic firm and is also award-winning in the field of mediation. The firm has a team of highly experienced mediators, who are accredited by the Family Mediation Council.

Family mediation starts with an initial meeting, which is referred to as a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting). The cost of this meeting is £120 (including VAT). The fee charged includes the mediation certificate. It is important to remember that you go to the MIAM by yourself. In this meeting, the mediator will talk to you about the mediation process and ask you about your current situation and your hopes for the future. If you go on to mediation, the cost per hour per person is the same, £120.

We have received so much positive feedback from our clients. We are sure that you will find mediation a good start to finding a way to resolve the issues you and your family are facing.

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