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At Butcher & Barlow, we offer an excellent mediation service, helping clients to solve family legal disputes, for instance financial settlements or arrangements for children.

At Butcher & Barlow, Caroline Cockill-Guy, our qualified and experienced mediator, will ensure a comfortable environment, allowing the disputing parties to engage in open dialogue, express their viewpoints, and negotiate.

Our mediator works with clients who’ve been referred to us through other family law firms and barristers, as well as clients who have approached us to access our mediation service specifically.

Contact Butcher & Barlow today

To access our mediation service, get in touch with us at Butcher & Barlow. Our mediation service operates throughout the North West, and we can work with you regardless of where in the region you are based.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 797 5650 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

Why work with Butcher & Barlow?

Our mediator, Caroline Cockill-Guy has plenty of experience and a wealth of expertise, including working with a diverse range of clients. Caroline qualified with Resolution back in 2011.

All members of Resolution are dedicated to a code of practice, which fosters resolving family problems in a way that reduces conflict, and closely considers the needs of the family as a whole.

At Butcher & Barlow, we champion mediation as a first choice for dispute resolution, wherever it may be appropriate, allowing families to resolve matters out of Court, whilst protecting any children involved as far as possible.

Our family mediation services

Mediation Information Assessment Meeting

Those who wish to attempt mediation to solve a dispute will first be required to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The meeting is intended to determine whether or not mediation is a suitable way to resolve your dispute.

The mediator will meet each party separately, allowing both individuals to learn more about mediation, as well as providing the mediator with a chance to individually assess the specific case, and determine suitability.

Some cases are automatically deemed unsuitable for mediation, such as those involving domestic abuse. In these traumatic situations, you will be able to access alternative options to resolve any legal disputes.

Mediation Processes

If it is determined that your case is suitable for mediation, you will be able to access our mediation service at Butcher & Barlow.

During a mediation session, our qualified and experienced mediator will guide the disputing parties to discuss their issues, attempting negotiation and a resolution. Both parties will have an equal chance to express their viewpoints, concerns, and desired outcomes.

The mediator’s role is completely impartial, they will not have direct involvement in the case, nor provide any legal advice to either party.

The issues that might be resolved during mediation include divorce financial settlements, child residency issues, or grandparents’ rights to maintain contact with their grandchildren.

Contact us at Butcher & Barlow today

To access our mediation service, please get in touch with us at Butcher & Barlow today. Our mediation service operates throughout the North West and can work with you regardless of where in the region you are based.

You can call us on +44 (0)161 764 4062 or email enquiries@butcher-barlow.co.uk.

Frequently asked questions about family mediation

Family mediation refers to a legal process used to resolve disputes between family members. Mediation can be used in all areas of family disputes, whether married, unmarried, heterosexual or same sex.

Mediation is a voluntary process where an impartial third party, the mediator, directs the sessions based on an agenda which has been set by the mediating parties. Communication and discussion between parties is then facilitated to narrow the issues, with the end goal of achieving a resolution.

Mediation deals with resolving financial claims, arrangements for children, post cohabitation issues and pre-nuptial and pre-cohabitation issues. Mediation can also be used by wider family members particularly in the area of making arrangements to see grandchildren or other young relatives.

If you would like to use family mediation to resolve a dispute, it is first necessary to attend a Family Mediation and Assessment Meeting. The meeting is intended to assess whether or not a particular case is suitable for mediation.

Family mediation is intended to provide an informal process for families to resolve their disputes without needing to go to Court. The mediator meets with both parties and assists them to resolve legal matters and family disputes, using negotiation and discussion. The parties have the chance to communicate their needs and preferences, and work towards solutions that both find satisfactory.

During mediation sessions, the mediator plays an active to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to express their positions, whilst at the same time ensuring that no one dominates the process. Any areas of agreement and disagreement are highlighted, and neutral suggestions of a possible compromise are then presented.

A lot of mediating parties are not aware of potential alternatives and in many cases the input from the mediator can be key to unlocking the areas of dispute.

At all times the mediator remains impartial and never expresses an opinion or provides advice.

It is common for both parties to have the support of their own independent Solicitors, both prior to, and throughout the process.

Mediation could be useful if you are cohabitating, married, or in a civil partnership, and are going through a divorce, separation, or civil partnership dissolution. Generally, speaking, clients in these situations will need to make arrangements for their finances and children.

Mediation might also be used by grandparents, step parents, or other family members who would like to see or look after children in their family, and need to formally arrange this due to the circumstances.

It is difficult to determine exactly how much family mediation costs, because the fee tends to depend on how complex the case is, and how many mediation sessions are required.

Rest assured; we will provide an accurate cost estimate for our mediation service as early as possible.

It is important to note that, in the vast majority of cases, the cost of mediation will generally be cheaper than any court-based resolutions.

How long family mediation takes depends on the case, the complexity of the issues at hand, and how easily the parties can negotiate and work towards an agreement.

A family mediation meeting may take just one session of around one or two hours, or several sessions over a period of 6 weeks, potentially even longer depending on complexity.

Rest assured, when you work with our Family Law Solicitors, you will have all the support that you need and be well prepared for the process.

At Butcher & Barlow, we have much experience in providing this service through our experienced mediator. Please get in touch with us using the contact details below to discuss your case and how to begin the mediation process.

Kevan Hankinson

Kevan Hankinson


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an image of Nicola Wingfield, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

Nicola Wingfield


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Caroline Cockill-Guy

Caroline Cockill-Guy


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Family Law Team

Our people are what makes Butcher & Barlow what it is. Each one of our team is committed to building a solid, long-lasting working relationship with our clients across Bury, Manchester and Cheshire.

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