One of the most challenging parts of divorce can be deciding how you and your ex-partner will separate your finances, home and other possessions.

However, divorce mediation could help with this. Divorce mediation aims to support separating couples by helping them work through disagreements in a constructive way to reach an agreement that works for both parties. It’s often cheaper and faster than going to court and can be much less stressful.

Here’s what you need to know.

If your relationship is ending, and you need help dividing your money and property or making arrangements for your children, amicable is a trusted legal service for separation and divorce. Unlike solicitors, amicable works with couples and offers a fixed-fee service that includes VAT to help manage all aspects of separation so that you can agree on the best way forward for your family and your finances. Get in touch to explore how they can help you separate in a kinder, better way.

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is a way to work through disputes that might arise during a divorce without a lengthy and expensive legal battle. It allows separating couples to come up with a solution that’s right for their personal situation, and may be particularly useful when children are involved. 

Divorce mediators work with a separating couple as a neutral third party to guide them through discussions to ultimately reach an agreement on the divorce settlement. 

The mediator will support the couple by asking relevant questions, making suggestions for how to move forward and providing the necessary legal information. The mediator will also aim to keep the discussion civil, allowing each person to share their point of view, encouraging them to listen to each other and steering them away from arguments.

Discussion points during the divorce mediation process may include:

  • Dividing assets and debts, such as savings, pensions, property and so on
  • Child custody and support
  • Spousal support.

What happens in divorce mediation?

There’s a defined process to divorce mediation that you’ll be guided through if you decide on this approach:

1. Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

Before starting the mediation process, both you and your ex-partner will have a MIAM, or preliminary meeting with the mediator.

This meeting is aimed at understanding each person’s point of view, and the issues that they want to discuss. The mediator will essentially collect information and determine whether they think the mediation process is appropriate for the separating couple.

The meeting typically runs for between 35 minutes and an hour. It’s confidential and held separately with each participant, so information shared by each party will not be shared with the other. If the conclusion is that mediation is right for you, your first session will then be arranged.

2. Mediation sessions

During the sessions, you’ll discuss the issues you each raised in the MIAM until you reach an agreement.

The mediator will guide you through these conversations and act as a neutral third party to keep the conversion open, balanced and relaxed. 

Your mediator should not take sides, and they’ll suggest positive ways to move the conversation forwards. They will also ensure that you both have space to say what you need to and check that you’re listening to each other. You don’t necessarily need to agree with each other, but the aim is to find a mutually agreeable outcome for you both.

Generally, mediators are not lawyers, so aren’t able to provide you with legal advice, but they will be knowledgeable about the law and can provide you with information about any legal implications of your choices.

Depending on the mediator you choose, these sessions can either be carried out face to face or virtually.

These mediation meetings will continue until everything has been agreed between both parties.

Separate amicably, without solicitors

amicable is the UK’s highest-rated divorce service, specialising in working with separating couples. Unlike solicitors, they offer fixed-fee services that include VAT to help couples separate amicably and negotiate a fair financial agreement.

Rest Less members can book a free 30-minute consultation.

Book a free 30-minute consultation

3. Memorandum of understanding

Once everything has been agreed, the mediator will write up a ‘memorandum of understanding’ detailing your agreed points, which both of you will sign. Some people choose to end the divorce settlement process here.

If you want these agreements to be legally binding, though, you’ll then need to take the documents to a solicitor, who will prepare a consent order. The consent order will then be submitted to a judge, and if approved, will become legally binding. There are additional costs to this; you’ll need to pay your solicitor’s fees as well as a fee for the consent order.

How much does divorce mediation cost?

Divorce mediation is cheaper than divorce litigation. While costs will vary depending on your situation, most people will spend between £600 to £1,000 per person on divorce mediation, compared to anything between £2,000 and £30,000 for a divorce lawyer.

Generally, you’ll pay for a mediator by the hour, with most charging between £120 to £150 per hour. Additionally, there might be fees for paperwork and other administrative costs.

Every mediator or mediation service will have its own fee structure, so make sure you ask for their particular costs.

If you can’t afford the cost of a mediator, you might be eligible for government support through Legal Aid to cover some of the costs. You’ll need to provide evidence of your income, savings, investments and so on to prove financial need. You can read more about Legal aid and apply for support on

If your disagreements involve a child, you might qualify for a £500 voucher from the government through the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme. You can find more information about the scheme and whether you’re eligible here.

How to prepare for divorce mediation

Divorce mediation will cover a wide range of topics about your life and finances, so it can be helpful to gather some information before the sessions to ensure things proceed as smoothly as possible.

Some mediators will give you a form or equivalent to gather this information, but if they don’t, make sure to ask what documents or proof it would be useful for you to have on hand.

Everyone’s situation will be different, but generally, you’ll be asked to provide the following:

  • Evidence of your income: This includes any salaries, benefits or other sources of income
  • Details of your day-to-day living costs: This should cover bills, housing costs, food and so on
  • Information on your bank accounts: Including current accounts, savings and so on
  • Details of any outstanding debts: This could include car loans, credit cards, bank loans and so on 
  • Information on any property you own: whether outright or with a mortgage.

If there’s anything else you think is relevant and needs to be considered during your conversations, try to gather supporting documentation.

Separate amicably, without solicitors

amicable is the UK’s highest-rated divorce service, specialising in working with separating couples. Unlike solicitors, they offer fixed-fee services that include VAT to help couples separate amicably and negotiate a fair financial agreement.

Rest Less members can book a free 30-minute consultation.

Book a free 30-minute consultation

Is divorce mediation right for me?

Divorce mediation won’t be right for everyone, but it’s worth considering because if you go to a solicitor, or take your divorce to court, you’ll often be asked if you’ve attempted mediation first.

Of course, there are some situations where mediation won’t be appropriate, such as if you’ve suffered domestic abuse or other criminal behaviour.

If you’re wondering if you’ll be able to navigate mediation successfully, here are some factors to consider:

Can you both still communicate effectively?

The ability to communicate and compromise is an essential part of mediation. During the process, each person will be encouraged to share their perspective, and the other party will be asked to listen.

While the conversations during mediation sessions won’t be smooth sailing, and there are likely to be disagreements, the mediator will be there to guide you through these difficult moments.

If both parties are determined to reach a resolution, mediation could work well. However, if one person is trying to “win” at all costs, it could hinder the process. The mediation process works best when both parties are determined to reach a fair and balanced outcome and are willing to compromise.

How complex are your issues?

Divorce processes often involve negotiating key issues like dividing assets, property, and debts, as well as managing child custody arrangements, where relevant. Mediation will usually cover all of these topics, but if your finances or situations are particularly complicated or the negotiations involve very large sums of money, you might want to consider legal advice instead.

Is divorce mediation legally binding?

The points agreed during divorce mediation aren’t legally binding, but you can make them so if you choose.

Once everything has been agreed upon by both parties, the mediator will normally write up a ‘memorandum of understanding’ which you can then take to a solicitor to formalise in a consent order. Once the consent order has been approved by a judge, it will be legally binding and if either party doesn’t uphold their side of the agreement, the other can take them to court.

Do I need a solicitor if I use mediation?

Choosing to go through mediation is something people often do to avoid using solicitors or a long, costly legal battle, but if you want the things you agree during your mediation to be legally binding, then you will need to involve a solicitor in the final stages of the process.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

Divorce can be incredibly hard to navigate, but mediation is designed to help work around these difficulties and offers a number of benefits, including:

Reducing conflict and easing emotional stress

Understandably, emotions might run high during divorce negotiations but a mediator’s role is to encourage open, non-confrontational conversation and make sure both of you are listening to one another. The whole aim of mediation is to reach an outcome that you can both agree on so the mediator will support you both and help move you towards a compromise while steering you away from conflict.

It’s cheaper and quicker than going through solicitors

Most people will have two to six mediation sessions during which both people will have the opportunity to work through the issues they want addressed. This can often be quicker than the back and forth between solicitors and avoids long delays with administration. It is also the cheaper option, as we outline in the above section.

You can have more say in the settlement

Mediation prioritises open conversation, with both people being given the space to talk and be listened to as they work towards a compromise. No one can force you to agree to anything in mediation and the sessions will end when a mutually agreeable solution has been found.

Through this, people might find that mediation offers more control over the outcome of the divorce settlement, rather than these decisions being taken out of your hands by lawyers or a judge.

Separate amicably, without solicitors

amicable is the UK’s highest-rated divorce service, specialising in working with separating couples. Unlike solicitors, they offer fixed-fee services that include VAT to help couples separate amicably and negotiate a fair financial agreement.

Rest Less members can book a free 30-minute consultation.

Book a free 30-minute consultation

Where can I find divorce mediation near me?

There are divorce mediators available across the country, with numerous companies offering mediation services.

As a starting point, both the Family Mediation Council and National Family Mediation provide tools to help you find mediation services near you.


The divorce process can be particularly stressful and emotionally challenging, so if you need support, the relationship counselling service Relate offers assistance with marriage and relationship breakdown, in addition to helping couples stay together.

You may find it easier to talk to someone you don’t know, or you might prefer confiding in close friends and family. Regardless, make sure you have a support network in place, as you are likely to need it during what can be a difficult transition.

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