Facilitate Family Mediation offers a unique service seven days a week providing a dedicated mediation service to help separating couples to restructure their families without the added emotional pain and massive cost of going to court. Taking the right steps early on in the relationship breakdown can play a vital part in helping clients and their children adapt positively to the new roles demanded of them.
Facilitate is headed by Nevine Bentley who is a Resolution trained family mediator and a member of Resolution - formerly The Solicitors Family Law Association. Membership of Resolution commits family lawyer/mediators to resolving disputes in a non confrontational and constructive way designed to preserve people’s dignity, to put the best interests of children first and to encourage agreements. Nevine brings both this training and a background in law to give fair and balanced assistance to both partners in all aspects of divorce and separation including arrangements for children and finances.
Nevine is able to sensitively bring down barriers and encourage effective communication between separating couples and navigate them to explore options to find mutually acceptable solutions to the issues which remain unresolved between them. As your mediator, she will not take sides with either of you and will ensure that a balanced and level playing field exists at all times. She will guide each of you to get a less emotive perspective on your reactions so that you are really able to make the mediation sessions work for you.
Facilitate Family Mediation strives to provide a service which is both productive and cost efficient. Sessions normally last 90 minutes and take place in the tranquil setting of their Georgian offices weekdays from 8am to 8.30pm and Saturday and Sundays from 11am to 5pm.
Mediation is a confidential, constructive and cost-effective process to help couples find workable solutions to disputes which remain unresolved between them. It is a highly efficient alternative to litigation for couples who want to avoid lengthy and expensive battles through the courts and who would rather remain in control of how to manage their future than leaving it to their legal representatives to determine outcomes.
Relationship break-down is a difficult time for separating couples and it may not be easy for you to agree on financial and practical matters especially where children are involved. It may be that you are confused and scared about the practicalities of parenting separately, how the children will cope with the break-up and what future arrangements will be for who they live with and what time they share with each parent, your future finances, division of property and what options might be available to each of you to face the challenges before you.
By participating in the mediation process, the overall cost of the relationship breakdown will be dramatically reduced both as to cost and emotional trauma.
In the privacy of your structured sessions, your mediator using skills as a trained Resolution Mediator combined with a thorough understanding of family law, will act in a fair and balanced way to support you and your partner equally. Your mediator will assist you both to establish and maintain a good line of communication, to ensure that each of you gets an equal opportunity to raise issues of concern and to guide you both to find your own workable and sustainable arrangements so that you can face your new future roles with confidence.
The mediation process relies on a willingness for you both to talk about coming to an agreement based on the understanding that you are jointly in charge of making decisions. Your mediator will control the pace and general direction of the sessions based on the issues that you both wish to discuss and will monitor progress throughout to ensure that you are getting the most benefit from the process. Your mediator will offer impartial information on the legal framework and take charge of the information that both of you will need to provide.
At the end of the process when you and your former partner have reached agreement, your mediator will produce a legally privileged Memorandum of Understanding recording these agreements together with an open Financial Statement which you can take to your solicitors to put into a legally binding agreement which either the court can be asked to approve on divorce or which can become a binding legal separation agreement.
For more information on mediation, please take a look at Resolution – what is mediation?
Nevine Bentley obtained her LLB (Hons) with the Open University as a mature student. She then went on to gain the prestigious Graham Rushton Scholarship to study for the Legal Practice Course (the final compulsory academic stage prior to becoming a solicitor) at the College of Law, before undertaking Resolution’s Mediation Lawyer training and qualifying as a Family Mediator.
Nevine has a unique blend of legal training as well as practical life experiences to draw from in helping her clients reach mutually acceptable solutions during this difficult time.
I can fully empathise with my clients. I went through divorce myself in 1999 after a long marriage with the needs of two children to consider. I appreciate from personal experience what a traumatic effect this has and how overwhelmed it makes you feel about the future. I know I can help each of my clients to meet the challenges they face by guiding them to find their own solutions and prepare them to leave the mediation process feeling positive and with a sense of achievement about their new future roles.- Nevine Bentley
Your mediation sessions are normally one and a half hours and most couples achieve their objectives within 3 to 5 sessions depending on the complexity of their issues.
Our fees are fixed at an hourly rate of £100 per person. There are no extra costs to meet outside these sessions. Given a 3 session average, this would cost each party £450. A similar time spent with a regional solicitor would undoubtedly cost more than double, and considerably more if a London solicitor was used.
When you and your partner reach a mutually acceptable agreement on the issues discussed between you and your former partner throughout mediation, your Mediator will draw up a summary in a Memorandum of Understanding together with an accompanying Financial Statement if financial information was disclosed. The fee for this is a flat rate of £75 per person.
Mediation can be an efficient and speedy process when compared to litigation where each of your solicitor’s hourly costs are £200/220 plus VAT and where the lengthy process involves each Solicitor taking instructions from one party, relaying them to the other party and awaiting a response to pass back with costs mounting at each step.
Much of your contact with your solicitor, if you instruct one, will be done by correspondence or telphone. By contrast, your contact with your mediator will be in person during the sessions. Unlike your solicitor, your mediator will not take the adversarial position that your solicitor needs to adopt so you and your partner both can have the confidence that the guidance and information that you are given is balanced and fair.
Mediation sessions make it effective for you and your partner to find resolutions to your issues when you are face to face and your mediator is there guiding you both. Much ground can be covered during a mediation session compared to the legal fees that mount up by the sheer volume of correspondence generated between your advisors having to take your instructions, then contact your partner’s solicitor and then await a response from them.
Your mediator provides a neutral forum where you and your partner each feel safe and confident that your concerns will be heard and where you are encouraged to bring into the open all those unresolved issues, however previously difficult and awkward to discuss.
With the guidance of your mediator, you will both have the opportunity to explore mutually acceptable resolutions Our offices offer a calm environment for each of you to consider these options and to evaluate between you and your partner those which will work for you both in the future.
No – the mediation process assists couples in separating as effectively as possible and promotes the ability of both parties to face their new roles in a confident and positive way.
Our tranquil offices are situated in an elegant Georgian building in the heart of the historic market town of Farnham. Easy parking is available within a few minutes walk at the Upper Hart Car park as well as on West Street itself.