The mediation process

The First Step
  • The first step in the mediation process is an individual Assessment Meeting with a Family Mediator (sometimes called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting or MIAM).
     

  • The Mediator will explore with you why you are coming to the meeting and the background to the difficulties that you and your family are facing.
     

  • They will then explain the family mediation process – and any other ways of sorting out the issues.
     

  • The Mediator will examine with you the things that might make family mediation unsuitable and will look to see whether they can offer a safe and productive mediation experience.
     

  • The Mediator will help you to consider your next steps which may include giving you details of other professionals or agencies who can help.
     

  • At the end of the meeting, you will be able to make an informed decision whether you wish to try mediation.
     

  • If you decide that mediation is not for you, we will provide a certificate so that you can, if you wish, apply for a Family Court order.

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Mediation Sessions
  • If after attending your separate assessment meetings (MIAMs), you both decide that mediation is a suitable process for you, we can set up mediation sessions. During these sessions, the mediator will help you work towards finding solutions to the things that are causing problems for your family.
     

  • The mediator will help you work through a number of stages so that, by the end of your discussions you will be able to make good choices for yourself and your family.
     

  • After each session, your mediator may prepare an 'Post Session Note' and share it with you. This will summarise the session and the topics you discussed, highlighting things for you to think about or check before the next session.
     

  • If your mediation is about financial and property issues, we will prepare an 'Open Summary of Facts' for you to check and sign – this will give a full and clear picture of the background to the decisions that you are making.
     

  • When you have created a set of choices, the mediator will draw up a protected summary.

After the Mediation Sessions
  • You can then use the 'Protected Summary of Proposals' and 'Open Summary of Facts' to take advice as to whether the plans are in your best interests.  A solicitor will be able to quickly understand what you are proposing and why so that they can give advice quickly and efficiently.
     

  • In financial cases, you may need to ask a Judge to approve your proposals.
     

  • In children cases, you can easily turn the proposals into a binding agreement.

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"Family Mediation is a process which I approached with some caution as I knew that the outcome was always going to be difficult for me to accept. However the mediator took the time to explain the process thoroughly and had a completely neutral approach. Whenever either of us showed concern he was able to put us at ease, and we were quickly able to come to an agreement"

Anonymous