FAQs

We will try to help you and your ex partner or spouse to discuss the issues that need to be resolved whether that is around arrangements for your children or a financial settlement and find a solution which is acceptable to both of you.  We do not take sides or say who is right or wrong, although we can suggest some options. We help you to restore communication between you so that you can resolve any problems in the future yourselves. 
This is in contrast to the Court process, which tends to heighten tensions between the parties and makes it very difficult to have any kind of relationship as parents in the future.

If you are splitting up from your spouse or partner, there are a hundred and one things that you need to sort out from who’s going to look after the children when to what’s going to happen to the house and where is everyone going to live?  It’s a very scary time and, because emotions are running high, it can prove near impossible to sort everything out with your soon to be ex.  We will help the two of you talk through these issues in a calm and logical way to find solutions that are right for both of you. 

 

 

We hold a preliminary assessment meeting (MIAM) with each party.  Once we have seen both clients, and assuming everyone still wishes to proceed to mediation, then a series of joint meetings will be arranged where you both attend at the same time to discuss the issues.
If there have been threats or incidents of domestic violence, then the mediator should be told of this at the initial meeting so that these can be discussed and a decision made as to to whether mediation is, in fact, appropriate.
If it appears to be appropriate, we can make arrangements to see your children at a separate meeting to offer them a chance to express any views they have.

 

Lesley Baker - Mediator and Manager

Lesley trained as a family lawyer and qualified in 1991.  She practiced in the Thames Valley and was Head of the Family Department for a local firm until that department was closed in 2000.  She worked in all areas of family law including in domestic violence, when she was on the local Domestic Violence Forum and had strong links with the local Refuges.  Later she moved on to work on high value financial cases and was the expert in the firm at the time for the newly formed Child Support Agency calculations. 

In 2000 Lesley set up Lambda Mediation and has been practicing as a full time mediator since then.  She is Family Mediation Council accredited and is a professional supervisor to a number of other mediators of varying experience.  She has subsequently trained in Civil and Commercial Mediation and as a  Child Consultant.

 

 

Rita Jackson - Mediator

Former Solicitor and advice charity manager Rita Jackson qualified as a Civil and Commercial Mediator in 2009 and then added Community Mediation and more recently Family Mediation achieving Full FMC accreditation in 2016. Rita brings over 20 years experience of the realities of taking cases to Court and helping clients overcome a wide variety of personal and practical problems to mediation. Rita’s “can do” approach has enabled her to successfully mediate a wide range of disputes including property ownership and boundary disputes and workplace grievances.

Rita is qualified in direct consultation with children and has an enhanced DBS check. Rita regularly attends Family Court as a duty mediator and has worked as a Separated Parent Information Programme trainer. She is currently working towards qualifying as a Parenting Co-ordinator and has a particular interest in mediating family cases involving children and adults with special needs

Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs)

You may have been told that you have to attend mediation before you can go to Court.  This is not strictly correct;  you do have to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (or MIAM) with a mediator.  At that meeting we would explain more about how mediation works and answer any questions you have.  We would then seek information from you about your situation and what you see as being the issues.  This meeting is wholly confidential.  

A decision can then be made as to whether those issues could better be resolved in mediation but, if, having had that discussion, you do not wish to proceed or the mediator does not believe that mediation would be appropriate for you, you do not have to attend mediation.

At Lambda Mediation, all our mediators are registered with the Family Mediation Council to conduct MIAMs and to sign your application form should you decide not to proceed with mediation or it is assessed as not appropriate for any reason. 

Although the Child Maintenance Service can assess the amount to be paid by one parent for their children, this can take time and incur fees.  It is also difficult to vary the sum if circumstances change. 

We can help you to arrive at a figure for maintenance which is realistic and affordable to enable both parents to have enough to live and provide for their children.  If you wish to secure those payments, an Order can be obtained from the Court by consent after mediation but this is not essential. 

We would ask you to complete a form with details of your income and outgoings and work through those figures with both of you to find an appropriate figure.  In this way, you are involved in arriving at and understanding the final figure payable.

Part of the benefit of mediation is to enable you and your ex partner to have a face to face discussion in a controlled setting to work out what you are going to do together.  Whilst we can conduct the mediation with the parties sitting in separate rooms (“shuttle mediation”) this is nowhere near as effective or successful as face to face meetings.  It also increases the time and cost involved considerably.  

However, where there has been domestic abuse and one person is actually afraid to sit in the same room as the other or there is actually an injunction to prevent direct contact between you, then this can be arranged.  This is something we would discuss at the MIAM.

If you would like to bring a friend or relative to the MIAM, then you may do so, provided they understand this is your opportunity to talk freely to the mediator and they are there to listen only.  It would not be a good idea to bring anyone who you did not wish to know the details of the separation for instance. 

Once we move to mediation meetings, third parties are not allowed except in exceptional circumstances and by agreement with both parties.  If you think you might want to bring someone, please let the mediator know when making the appointment. 

If you would like to bring your solicitor, this is possible and may be helpful but again, please discuss this with the mediator first. 

Nothing that is said in mediation is in itself binding.  In financial mediation we will prepare a full set of summaries setting out your financial position and recording the proposals you are thinking of.  You can then take this back to your solicitors and they can draw up a binding agreement for you. 

In children cases, there is really nothing that is binding as arrangements for children have to be subject to revision as circumstances change.  Again, a summary of the arrangements you have come to will be sent to you but it is unlikely this would be converted into an order at this stage unless you already have ongoing court proceedings. 

If  we establish that your ex won’t come to mediation, then there is nothing further we can do, save countersign any application you subsequently make to the Court to confirm this. 

If you have inherited property, you may feel this is yours to keep; this may be the case but may not.  Inherited property or capital is not treated the same as other assets but, if the only way everyone can be satisfactorily rehoused, is to include that inheritance then a Court would do so and this would need to be born in mind. 

There can be great value for the victim of domestic abuse to engage in mediation and be able to stand up to their abuser in an environment where there is someone to support them.  In these circumstances we would probably put you and the other person in separate rooms.  Please see the section headed "Do we have to sit in the same room?"

The MIAM is £87.50 plus VAT each and the fees thereafter are £112.50 plus VAT per person per hour.​

Pensions can be a major consideration.  You will need to obtain the Transfer Values for any pension you hold even if you do not consider it to be relevant or you have agreed you will not make a claim on each other’s pension.   This figure will still need to be disclosed in order for any agreement to be binding.  
 

One of the biggest issues to be decided when you separate is usually what to do with the family home.  If it is rented you will need to decide who is to remain living there and how the other person is to be rehoused. 
If the property is owned, you will need to consider whether one of you is going to stay there and buy out the other person or whether the property is going to be sold and you will both move.  
We can help you work through the figures to find the most appropriate way to ensure your children have suitable accommodation in which to spend time with both of you. 

PRIVACY NOTICE

Lambda Mediation is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal data. This Privacy Notice describes how we collect, use and look after your personal data. It also tells you about your rights and how the law protects you....

1. Important information

Lambda Mediation is the controller and responsible for your personal data and the person responsible to whom any queries or requests should be directed is Lesley Baker, who can be contacted at the main office at Victoria House, Desborough Street, High Wycombe, HP11 2NF or on lesley@lambda-mediation.co.uk.

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the ICO (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.

Your duty to inform us of changes

It is important that the data we hold about you is accurate and current, therefore please keep us informed of any changes to your personal data.

2. The data we collect about you

We may collect, use, store and transfer the types of personal data about you listed in Appendix 1.  Appendix 5 sets out where and how that data is stored.

Failure to provide personal data

Clearly we need your personal data in order to fulfil our contract with you to provide mediation services and, if you fail to provide it, we may not be able to perform that contract and may have to cancel it. We will notify you of this at the relevant time.

3. How personal data is collected

We are usually provided with your data by the person requesting mediation or their representative.

4. How we use your personal data

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to.  Please see Appendix 2 for the lawful basis upon which we process your data.   Most commonly, we will use your personal data:

  • to perform the contract we are to enter into or have entered into with you;
  • to comply with a legal obligation; and
  • where it is necessary to carry out our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.

Please note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your information.

 

 

5. Disclosure of your personal data

We may have to share your personal data with third parties further details of which are set out in Appendix 4.  We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. They can only process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

6. Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. We also limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who need to know and they can only process your personal data on our instructions and will be subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have procedures in place to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

7. Data retention

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, conflict of interest or reporting requirements.

We will retain your file for 6 years in case of queries about the decisions made. We are legally required to keep basic information about our customers (including contact, identity, financial and transaction data) for six years after they cease being customers, for tax purposes and will retain contact and identity details indefinitely for conflict of interest checks.

8. Your legal rights

You have certain rights in certain circumstances under data protection law.  These are set out in full in Appendix 3.  If you wish to exercise any of your rights, please contact Lesley Baker.

We may request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity when you contact us to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who does not have the right to receive it.

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.

 

 

Appendix 1

Types of personal data

Contact Data

Address, email address and telephone number

Financial Data

Payment card details and, for the purposes of disclosure in financial mediation, full financial information which is retained in anonymised form. 

Financial documents

Provided by the client by way of disclosure

Identity Data

first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.

Transaction Data

details about payments you have made to us

Case data

All information you give us during mediation meetings relevant to your case including but not exclusively covered in our handwritten notes, flip charts, typed Notes and Summaries, which are all privileged.

 

Appendix 2

Lawful basis for processing and processing activities

The lawful basis upon which we may rely on to process your personal data are:

Contract

the processing is necessary for us to perform our contractual obligations with you under our contract, or because you have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract with you.

Legal Obligation

the processing is necessary for us to comply with legal or regulatory obligation.

Legitimate Interests

the processing is necessary for our or a third party’s legitimate interest in order to comply with our contract with the other person

 

 

 

 

Appendix 3

Your legal rights

You have the following legal rights in relation to your personal data:

Access your Data

you can ask for access to and a copy of your personal data and can check we are lawfully processing it

Correction

you can ask us to correct any incomplete or inaccurate personal data we hold about you

Erasure

you can ask us to delete or remove your personal data where:

 

(a)       there is no good reason for us continuing to process it;

(b)       you have successfully exercised your right to object (see below);

(c)       we may have processed your information unlawfully; or

(d)       we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law.

We may not always be able to comply with your request for specific legal reasons, which will be notified to you at the time of your request.

Object

you can object to the processing of your personal data where:

(a)       where we are relying on our legitimate interest (or those of a third party) as the basis for processing your personal data, if you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms;

In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms and in such circumstances, we can continue to process your persona data for such purposes.

Restrict Processing

you can ask us to us to suspend or restrict the processing of your personal data, if:

 

(a)       you want us to establish the accuracy of your personal data;

(b)       our use of your personal data is unlawful, but you do not want us to erase it;

(c)       you need us to hold your personal data (where we no longer require it) as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or

(d)       you have objected to our use of your personal data, but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

Request a Transfer

you can request a transfer of your personal data which is held in an automated manner and which you provided your consent for us to process such personal data or which we need to process to perform our contact with you, to you or a third party. We will provide your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format.

 

Appendix 4

Third Party Processors

We may from time to time need to share your data with the following groups of people for the purposes of fulfilling the contract or our administrative and legal requirements.

Professional Advisors

acting as processors or joint controllers including lawyers, bankers, auditors, insurers and professional consultants based in the United Kingdom who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.

Legal Aid Agency

For those clients who have Legal Aid we need to share all information both personal and financial with the Legal Aid Agency

HM Revenue & Customs, Regulators and other Authorities

acting as processors or joint controllers based in the United Kingdom who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.

Card Processing Service

For the purposes of taking payment of our fees

File destruction service

For the purposes of ensuring paper files are destroyed securely

Interpreters, financial advisers, children’s services etc

To assist in the mediation process