Progressive Mediation: A Family Mediation Service in Bristol


Going through divorce or separation is hard enough.

However, there are nearly always additional issues which need to be resolved, such as children’s living arrangements and finances, all of which just adds to the stress and worry.

Divorce or separation can also be traumatic for children. It is therefore always beneficial to children if parents resolve their living arrangements amicably and fairly without court proceedings, as this saves them added trauma and helps them cope with the situation better.

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A family Mediation service helps divorcing and separating couples find solutions to disagreements over dividing their money and the arrangements for their children. A Mediator acts as an impartial third party to help couples make decisions without the use of the courts.

Figures from the National Audit Office show that on average mediated divorces are resolved four times more quickly and cheaply than cases which go to court. Research also shows that 12 years after separation, couples who have gone through the Mediation process are still reaping the rewards with both parents more likely to have a good relationship with their children, and an ability to communicate as parents in the interests of their children.

Even if couples feel the issues to be non-resolvable outside of court, all couples considering using the courts to reach agreement after separation or divorce now have to prove that they have met with a Mediator and have considered Mediation before entering the court process.

Progressive Mediation is a family mediation service in Bristol which offers a confidential service to help couples resolve such issues between themselves and saves them from going through the invariably costly, not to mention extremely stressful, experience of going to court.


Progressive Mediation is run by husband and wife, Charles and Frances Place who both have three children. Frances is a solicitor with a background in civil mediation and family law and who specialises in mediation and resolving family disputes. Charles is a qualified social worker and family mediator with a background in working with families and children.

Frances explains the importance of family mediation:

“Mediation during separation is so important because it saves couples time, money and most importunity emotional pain. Particularly when couples need to continue to work together as parents it is crucial to avoid the acrimony that can increase when either things are left unsettled or when adversarial legal processes are begun.’

Frances and Charles offer both partners a free initial MIAM meeting (Mediation, Information and Assessment Meeting) which lasts between thirty minutes to an hour. The Mediation process will be explained to each partner and their suitability for mediation will be assessed.

If both parties want to go ahead they will make an arrangement for an initial hour to hour and a half long Mediation session.

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As well as being hugely experienced and respected in the field, Progressive Mediation offers the most competitive prices in the city: £50 per person per hour for a session. Because Frances and Charles work from their home in St Andrews they are able to keep their costs down, thus making their service accessible to everyone.

The family mediation process is entirely voluntary and confidential. If the couple are able to reach agreement the Mediator will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding. This document can then be taken to a Solicitor who will draw up a legally binding Consent Order.

If finances have been under discussion the Mediator will draw up an Open Financial Statement, summarising both parties’ financial situations. This will be attached to the Consent Order.

Frances cites Progressive Mediation’s very good success rate:

“Of the couples we see in Mediation over 70% reach a settlement that they can both live with. The relief that people feel at the end of the process is palpable, and it’s hugely rewarding for us to know that they can then move on with the rest of their lives.”

Frances and Charles also offer appointments at weekends and in the evenings so couples do not have to take time out of work to meet with them.

If you would like more information about Progressive Mediation and the services that Frances and Charles offer, you can visit the Progressive Mediation website, call 0117 924 3880 or visit the Progressive Mediation page on facebook.

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