Starting the process
Where clients have already obtained legal advice, it may be their solicitors who refer them to mediation. If not, a couple can simply contact the mediator themselves.
Initially, one of our mediators will need to discuss the mediation process to ensure that you are comfortable with it.
This initial contact is known as your Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM). This will be carried out face-to-face with one of Hethertons mediators. We will then make contact with your partner, inviting them to arrange their own assessment meeting.
The first session
If mediation is considered to be suitable for your issues, we will make arrangements for you and your partner to attend the first mediation session.
Here you will both have the opportunity to outline the issues you would like to discuss in mediation. What is discussed is, of course, your choice.
The mediation sessions involve you, your partner and one of our mediators and usually last for around one and a half hours.
It is very difficult to estimate how many mediation sessions will be needed as this depends on the nature and complexity of the issues to be discussed. However, on average around two to four sessions are quite common.
The role of the mediator
Throughout the mediation process, the mediator will help to ensure that there are open and free discussions at all times and will help you to reach an agreement.
Where you are discussing financial issues, your mediator will help you to discuss and agree how to provide the necessary financial information within the mediation process.
All of our mediators are also specialist family solicitors and they have a wealth of experience. They are in a position to ensure that any proposals made are realistic, particularly regarding financial settlements where the approval of the court is usually required after the mediation process has ended. You can find out more about Hethertons’ mediators here.
Once an agreement has been reached, your mediator will prepare a summary known as a memorandum of understanding. If financial matters have been considered, a summary of the financial information disclosed will also be provided. If required, you and the other person can then pass the information to your respective solicitors, who will translate it into a legally binding document.
Proposals made during the mediation process itself are not legally binding. They are your own agreements and arrangements, to be implemented or converted into orders if necessary.
If you have further questions about how the mediation process works please contact our experienced team of mediators today.