The Mediation process
Family mediation is a way of coming to decisions using a third impartial person, the mediator. The process is voluntary and confidential. The mediator manages the process and assists participants to make their own informed decisions. Working with the participants the mediator will guide the discussions and help look at options so that a couple can come to their own informed workable solutions, whether that is about children arrangements or finances.
It is not about getting people back together, nor is it counselling or therapy. It is future focused and practical.
Understanding Mediation GOV.UK U-tube link
The Mediation sessions
After you have each met individually with the mediator (see the Mediation Information and Assessment meeting MIAM) the mediator will invite you and your ex to your first mediation session together. Sessions are usually for 90 minutes. You set the agenda and the mediator manages the process so that you and your ex are able to address things constructively.
Mediation about children usually requires, on average, two sessions.
Mediation about Finance and Property, can take, on average, between three and five sessions, depending on the complexity of your finances.
Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
This first meeting enables you to talk to the mediator and decide whether mediation is suitable for you. The meeting takes about 45 minutes and is for you alone. However you may if you wish, bring a friend along for support to this meeting. The mediator will explain the mediation process and give you the opportunity to discuss your particular situation.
If you and the mediator decide that mediation is suitable for you we will then contact your ex-partner to invite them to their individual MIAM.
Even if you decide that mediation is not for you, you need to have attended a MIAIM before you can put in an application to the courts on family matters. In fact the court may direct you to meet with a mediator; however, mediating with your ex-partner is a voluntary process.
At the end of the Mediation
Children matters: At the end of the mediation process we will usually write up an outcome letter detailing the arrangements you have made.
On finance and property- We will usually write up an Open financial statement (summary of the financial picture) and a Memorandum of Understanding that records your proposals for financial settlement.
If you wish your proposals to be made legally binding you need to take them to a solicitor so they can draw up a consent order. Once approved by the court the order is then legally binding.