The first step is to identify whether mediation is a suitable process for you both. I will speak to and arrange to meet with you each separately so this can be decided. The initial individual meetings usually last for around 45 minutes. These meetings are often referred to as a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting).
At that meeting I will find out from you what you hope to achieve from mediation, I will explain the process to you and give you a chance to ask questions. We will talk about whether you feel able to attend meetings with your partner and whether this would be suitable in your particular circumstances. I will explain about other methods of resolving conflict which you may wish to consider. If mediation is not suitable then I will sign the relevant court form to confirm that you have complied with your obligation to attend a MIAM.
If mediation is suitable then I will hold a similar meeting with your partner. If you both elect to go ahead with the mediation process then I will arrange a joint meeting and I will ask you both to sign an Agreement to Mediate.
Each joint mediation session usually lasts for 90 minutes. It generally takes between three and five mediation sessions to conclude the process. The sessions will be held at intervals chosen by you.
Once you have made decisions in mediation I will record these in a document known as a Memorandum of Understanding. This document is legally privileged and confidential. You can each take it to your appointed solicitor who will be able to prepare a Consent Order and file this at Court for you.
If you have discussed financial matters in mediation then I will also prepare a summary of the documents provided during the process and a schedule setting out your financial circumstances. This document can be used by each of you in subsequent court proceedings should mediation break down for any reason.
Mediation is a voluntary process. If the former partner is unwilling to attend mediation then I can discuss alternative processes with you. These include solicitor led negotiations, collaborative law and court proceedings.
"I found mediation very useful and think it would have been impossible for us to proceed without you."