During mediation an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you and your ex work out an agreement about issues such as:
Arrangements for children after you break up (sometimes called residence or contact)
Child maintenance payments
Finances (for example, what to do with your house, savings, pension, debts)
Many people find that mediation is quicker, less stressful and less expensive than going to court. (And if you do want to go to court, the judge will usually ask you to consider mediation first). A mediator helps you and your ex come to an agreement without being on anyone's 'side', and it’s also possible to ensure that the views of children are heard too.
Mediation is free for people who qualify for legal aid. Legal aid may also be available for people who need to go to court where there are factors, such as domestic violence, that mean mediation may not be appropriate.
You can see if you qualify here: https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid
You can find out more about mediation, including where your local mediators are here: http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator