What is mediation?
Mediation is a process designed to assist separating couples reach a mutually acceptable agreement together, with the skilled help and assistance of a qualified and experienced mediator.
How does it work ?
Both you and your partner or spouse must firstly agree that you prefer to use this method. Following contact, a mediator will arrange to see both of you separately for a brief assessment before holding sessions with both of you to work on the resolution of the issues between you. The sessions will be held with both of you together and the mediator. These sessions are generally 90 minutes in duration. The mediator’s role is to help facilitate a proposal leading to an agreement between you. You can combine legal advice with the mediation sessions to assist your understanding. Once you have both reached an acceptable proposal, the mediator will draft documentation which reflects the proposal reached. You may take legal advice at any time. This documentation can in turn be ‘legalised’ by incorporating the content of the proposal into an Order of the Court by Consent as part of Divorce proceedings.
The mediator’s role
The mediator’s role is one of impartiality. The mediator does not take sides or ‘represent’ either of you. All negotiations and communications take place within the mediation sessions with both of you together. However, the mediator will also ensure that you are both comfortable with the content of the sessions and will support either one of you where it is needed. It is paramount that the space and time utilised for the mediation sessions is used effectively and that conflict is limited. The mediator will remain impartial, respectful and understanding of a process which can be emotionally painful and difficult.
What are the advantages?
- It is cheaper than using solicitors to represent you to negotiate a settlement
- It is much cheaper than going to court.
- It reduces tension and conflict by encouraging co-operation.
- It is preferable for the children with a reduction of conflict.
- You take control of the proposal you wish to reach.
- A resolution is quicker than using solicitors to represent you.
- It is quicker to reach a resolution than going to court.
- It is less stressful
- It will teach you how to improve the communication between you.
- You can combine mediation with some legal advice.
What sort of problems can be mediated?
Family mediation is suitable for a range of family problems. The following issues are common in a successful mediation;
On divorce or separation:
- Who the children will live with and when.
- How the assets and finances are divided.
- How ongoing maintenance for children and/or a spouse can be worked out.
- The timing of when the above will take place.
MIAMS: Why is this important?
MIAM stands for Mediation Information and Assessment meeting.
If you cannot resolve the difficulties with your ex-husband you may be thinking about taking court proceedings. However, before an application can be made to court, you are now obliged to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). The aim of the meeting is to see if mediation could be used to resolve your difficulties, rather than going straight to court.
The court needs to know that mediation has been considered before they will process your application.
What is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?
The MIAM is a meeting between you and a mediator to find out if there are alternative ways to find solutions to your problems other than going to court.
The mediator will explain to you:
- what your options may be
- what mediation is, and how it works
- the benefits of mediation and other appropriate forms of resolving disputes
- the likely costs of using mediation
- if you are eligible for free mediation and Legal Aid.
The meeting can be between the mediator and just you, or your ex-partner can attend.
How long is the meeting?
The meeting usually lasts around 45 minutes.
The mediator will be able to tell you if mediation is likely to work for you. If it is, he or she will advise you of the next steps.
What happens if mediation does not go ahead?
If, after your MIAM, it’s considered that mediation is not suitable in your case, the mediator will give you a form which will be completed and signed by the mediator. This form confirms that you have attended a MIAM and will form part of your application to court for a Financial Order.
What is Family Mediation? Watch our short video.
Download Our Brochure.
For further information about Family Mediation, download our brochure.
What do I do next?
Call 01494 776696 and speak to Jeannette Redway, Solicitor Mediator, for an initial mediation assessment or for further information.
During weekends or if you have an urgent matter, please call us on 07973 955775
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