Mediation is an alternative means to resolving most family related issues that you are unable to resolve with another party. Mediation is a conciliatory means of discussing matters openly and amicably in the presence of an independent third party mediator. This can include arrangements for children, divorce/finances and/or property disputes following the breakdown of a relationship. In limited circumstances, where appropriate and necessary, shuttle mediation can take place. This involves the mediator carrying out the mediation whilst at all times the parties remain in separate rooms.

You will attend an initial Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM) meeting alone with the mediator. At this stage, the mediator will decide whether this is suitable for you or not. If suitable, a further joint meeting will be scheduled with your former partner.

If mediation relates to a breakdown of relationship and finances and/or property dispute, you will exchange financial disclosure of your financial circumstances with your former spouse. You will both be required to complete a Form E financial document (or a document like this) to exchange with each other. This will include the disclosure of bank statements, property valuations, mortgage redemption statement and pension valuations, amongst other things. This is not an exhaustive list and will be bespoke to each case. An analysis of each parties monthly needs in the form of an outgoings schedule will also need to be prepared. The mediator will produce a schedule of assets and, based on this information alongside considering s.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, will assist you both to negotiate towards hopefully reaching a fair and reasonable settlement. However, the mediator cannot give you advice during the process or provide you with an outcome.

It is hoped by engaging in these negotiations in the presence of a mediator it will lead to you reaching an amicable agreement rather than you needing to resort to protracted court proceedings.

An agreement can be reached during mediation usually within four – six sessions. These sessions tend to take place on a monthly basis, and it is a much cheaper exercise than spending substantial sums litigating your case through the courts. It is also compulsory to attend the MIAM meeting before issuing court proceedings as a mediator needs to complete part of the Court documentation.

It is usually sensible to take advice before the process begins so you understand the process and the law that applies to your case. Advice during the process is also useful to ensure it remains on track and that you understand the implications of what you are agreeing to. Should the process breakdown we can explain the next steps open to you. If agreement is reached the solicitors are needed to draft the necessary documents.

If mediation is unsuccessful, in most cases it will be necessary to issue Court proceedings. We will advise you on the best way forward and ensure you understand the costs associated with each step.

We have a list which is reviewed regularly of mediators whom we recommend, and we will help you choose a mediator we feel you can work with and who has the required skills to help you.

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Would you like to know more?

For help and advice, talk to a member of our team. They can advise on the best options in your matter.

Call: 01708 229 444 Email us

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