What is mediation?
It’s not unusual for conflict to arise when a relationship breaks down. Making decisions together can be hard and the situation may feel insoluble. A mediator can provide short term help by working with you both, encouraging you to identify the decisions that need to be made and exploring possible solutions with you. Mediation is one of the most effective ways of preventing, managing and resolving conflict. In a family law context, it’s about managing separation and its consequences.
Four main principles underpin the mediation process:
All decisions are made by you
At the end of the mediation I will supply a Memorandum of Understanding reflecting the decisions you’ve made. The Memorandum is legally privileged and cannot be referred to within any subsequent court proceedings. Decisions in mediation aren’t legally binding and the Memorandum needs to be taken to your lawyer so the terms can be incorporated into the relevant legal paperwork.
Mediation sessions are confidential and are separate from court proceedings
The reasons for a relationship breakdown are often sensitive and highly personal. Mediation sessions are confidential with the exception of any safeguarding issues that arise and factual financial information which is provided and shared within the process. Unless specifically agreed by everyone, all the conversations that take place in mediation are confidential and cannot be relied on in any subsequent court proceedings.
A mediator remains impartial
The mediator is neutral, non-judgmental and will not take sides. By encouraging constructive communication and an understanding of the other person’s point of view, a spirit of co-operation is created. The mediator will ensure each person has sufficient information and understanding to make agreements designed to survive the test of time.
Mediation is a voluntary process
Mediation is a choice and requires consent of everyone before it can take place. All parties are free to withdraw at all time.