What’s the difference between mediation and negotiation services like amicable?

Originally published on 21st June 2019 at 8:40 AM
Reading time: 4 mins
Link copied to clipboard

When I made the sad decision that my marriage was over, I was terrified about how my ex-partner and I were going to sort stuff out. I knew we’d have to talk about the kids, and where we would both live and who would get what in terms of savings, pensions, and financial support.

So, I thought mediation would be the best way forward. What scared me, however, was how I was going to hold my own in mediation with a man who negotiated for a living.

I understand now, having talked to thousands of divorcing couples through my work at amicable, that this is a common fear. Mediation works well when the playing field is level and the agreement you’re coming to fits squarely in the middle of what the courts find acceptable. But there are some downsides to mediation, and this is evident by the falling numbers of people using it to sort out their finances in a divorce.

We set up amicable to bring together the best bits of mediation but add a level of intervention and advice that mediation often lacks. In our negotiation service, you work with a sensible, pragmatic person (your Divorce Specialist) who is trained in what the law says and who offers negotiation support to help you apply the law to your circumstances. We won’t take sides, but neither will we leave it up to you to navigate unchartered territory. Here’s a summary of how amicable negotiation and mediation differ.

What is the difference between mediation and negotiation?



You can work together as a couple



You stay in control of the process



You have someone to say what’s fair and what’s not as well as what’s legal

Yes – we will give you a pragmatic view and explain what’s legal as well as why legal advice to each of you may differ

No – mediation is a facilitation where YOU decide what is right for you

You have access to support & guidance outside of the meetings


No – mediation takes place in a series of three-way meetings. On-going support is not included

You can meet individually with your Specialist/ mediator/ lawyer

Yes – if you need to speak to your Divorce Specialist on your own you can do so – we will talk to you about the rules around confidentiality

No – mediation usually takes place with you both in one room.

You can do a MIAM (necessary if you need to ask the court to resolve issues that you cannot agree on)

No. You will need to find a specially trained mediator or use the amicable arbitration service to resolve your impasse

Yes – if you wish to make an application to court because mediation has broken down a specially trained mediator will complete a MIAM

You can do the whole divorce process including writing up legal documents in one place

Yes – amicable is a one-stop-shop. We write up your agreement and draft your legal documents

No – you’ll need a lawyer to review and write up your agreements

Prices are fixed with no hidden costs

Yes – we offer a fixed price service that you can split into instalments and legal drafting costs are included. Our negotiation service is unlimited, meaning you can have as many meetings as you need to get things sorted

No – you will pay per meeting and the process is rarely fixed fee. You will need to ask a solicitor to review your agreement and turn it into a legally binding financial order at an extra cost

If you’d like to find out more about which service is right for you, we offer one-hour coaching sessions to help you decide your separation options.  

If you have any questions, or would like some support, please book a free 15-minute call with one of our experts here.

In this episode of The Divorce Podcast, Kate was joined by Anthony Syder, a mediator turned Divorce Specialist and Rebecca Jones, a divorce lawyer turned Divorce Specialist who explain the key differences between each route. Listen here:

What is the difference between negotiation and mediation?

The key difference between amicable negotiation and mediation is that a mediator will not say what is fair and what isn’t whereas an amicable negotiation specialist will tell you what is realistic, fair and provide structured guidance. amicable will also write-up your agreement into a consent order.

Do amicable do mediation services on divorce?

At amicable, mediation isn’t something that is available. However, negotiation services are more flexible than mediation and can help you come to a better agreement at a more cost-effective price.

Where can I hire the services of a mediator or negotiator?

You can find an accredited mediator by visiting the Family Mediation Council. You can get an amicable Negotiation Specialist by booking a free 15-minute consultation here.

Read More

Start your amicable divorce journey

Speak to an amicable Divorce Specialist to understand your options and next steps for untying the knot, amicably.

Book a free 15-minute consultation

Comments (2)

By clicking submit you accept our privacy policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
13.07.2021 19:19

I would like to find out the cost for amicable.

amicable logo
Holly from amicable
14.07.2021 9:22

Hi Monika, thank you for your question. This depends on which service you require. If you only need help with the divorce, we offer a simple divorce service for £300 (plus the court fee). If you are planning on sorting out your finances as well as the divorce; a divorce with consent order, a full-service divorce, or a premium/ premium plus service would be better. These range in prices and you can book a call with one of our experts to discuss which service would be best for your specific situation.