The Mediation Process
1.The parties can either self refer or are referred to a mediator by their solicitors. Individual and solicitor referrals can be made via our website.
2. The mediator will send the parties a Preliminary Mediation Information form for them to complete which allows the parties to briefly explain the issues they feel need to be resolved.
3. The parties will be invited to separately attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting.
4. If both parties agree to mediate then an initial mediation session will be arranged. An agreement to mediate will be sent to the clients.
5. At the first session the mediator will talk through the agreement to mediate. The clients must sign it either before the session or at the outset of the session. The mediator will then help the parties discuss the issues they wish to address and a mutually agreed agenda will be set.
6. If the mediation concerns financial issues the clients will be given a mediation Form E to complete. The mediator will go through the document with the clients so they understand what information is required. The form will need to be completed by the parties and returned to the mediator with any supporting documentation prior to the next mediations session.
7. The mediator will ensure that a copy of each other’s Form E is given to each client at the next session. The mediator and the clients will talk through the forms together. The mediator will prepare a schedule of assets and income and may make use a flipchart to do this. The mediation will then focus on suggestions for possible outcomes. The mediator will not force their own views of an appropriate settlement but will offer suggestions which may not have been thought of by the clients.
8. When decisions have been made, the mediation will draw to a close. The mediator will recap the discussed outcomes. The mediator will then after the session prepare two very important documents:-
Open Financial Summary
This documents sets out the client’s financial position and flag any missing or awaited information. This document will include all assets and liabilities, income and outgoings. This document is signed by the parties rather than the mediator as it is their agreed financial disclosure.
Memorandum of Understanding
This document is a confidential document and ‘without prejudice.’ The document sets out a brief background, and the mediators understanding of the outcome. The mediator signs this document which is not binding.
9. The clients will take both documents to their legal advisors to discuss with them. The legal advisors will prepare a consent order based upon the Memorandum of Understanding and if approved by a judge will be a legally binding document.
Please contact us if you would like further information about family mediation or to arrange a free initial meeting.