Mediation process explained
Mediation can help resolve the issues surrounding your separation or divorce in a constructive and amicable approach, which usually helps you both to move on with your lives, in a way that traditional ways of resolving disputes cannot. This can be in relation to finances and/or children issues. It enables you to shape long-term solutions that are in your family’s best interests and it allows participants families to keep control of their own destinies, instead of handing it over to Courts.
The Mediation process enables yourself and your (former) spouse/partner to discuss the issues face-to-face, with the help of an impartial Mediator, who will keep the discussions constructive and focused on reaching agreements that work for you, and for your children, if you have any.
It is helpful for (former) couples who want to reach their own solutions, to the difficulties they face, as the Mediator can help facilitate your discussions to achieve an amicable resolution.
Mediation can only work if both people involved are committed to resolve their differences in this way. In the circumstances that one person is unwilling to proceed with Mediation, we will respect that choice, but always keep the door open to the possibility of Mediation taking place at a later date, if you both subsequently come to the mutual view that you would like to try the Mediation option.
Both yourself and your (former) spouse/partner will each separately attend what is called a MIAM’s appointment (Mediation Information and Assessment meeting). It is the Mediator’s duty to form a view as to whether Mediation is suitable for your circumstances, whether Mediation will be of positive help to you, and it will also be for you to decide whether you wish to proceed with Mediation.
Provided that Mediation is deemed suitable, and yourself and your (former) spouse/partner wish to proceed with Mediation, a first joint Mediation session will be set up for a mutually convenient date and time. This session will be attended by yourself, your (former) spouse/partner and the Mediator. It is our normal practice for these Mediation sessions to last anything up to two hours in length as we certainly feel that satisfactory progress can be made with an extended appointment time. As many sessions as required (by the both of you) can be accommodated in order for you both to reach agreement and resolve any dispute(s) that you may have in a controlled and constructive manner and of course, above all else, an agreement which is suitable to your family’s needs.
In Mediation you will be discussing a range of ideas to enable you to carefully explore the options alongside each other, without reaching a legally binding agreement. If you settle on a proposal which appears to you be fair to both of you (and any children), we will help by putting the proposal in the form of a summary, for you to discuss with your Solicitors, before they help you decide whether to make such proposals legally binding. We will also summarize the financial information you have both provided to help you to obtain advice from your Solicitor.
It is readily acknowledge that Mediation is not a ‘soft option’, as it can be difficult speaking with an estranged partner whom you may not have met for some time. However, with the assistance of trained, impartial and experienced Mediators, it is hoped that you will be able to reach the best solutions for your family.