Overview of the mediation process
- The first step is to attend for an individual assessment meeting; where the mediator will take some basic information from you, and answer any question or concerns that you may have. The mediator will discuss the process with you, as it relates to your specific circumstances. The mediator will assess whether your situation is suitable for mediation, and will discuss this with you. Very rarely there may be circumstances in which it would be appropriate, or necessary, for mediation to take place with each of you in a separate room, with the mediator moving between you. If each of you decide to go ahead with mediation, a joint first session will be arranged.
- Each joint mediation session will last between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4 hours. At your first meeting you will decide on the issues that you wish to address through mediation, and their order of priority. The mediator will support you in working to the agenda that you have set, throughout the process. The first meeting will also be used to gather information to enable potential options to be identified and explored, at the earliest opportunity. If you are addressing financial issues,the mediator will have asked you to complete a financial information document to bring along to the first meeting. It is essential that you each have a clear picture of the financial position, so that realistic options can be properly considered. Following your initial and each subsequent meeting, the mediator will send to each of you, a summary of the session discussions, and a reminder of any information that you have agreed to bring to the next session.
- At your second meeting the mediator will ensure that all necessary information is available, before assisting you in beginning to identify all of the available options. The mediator will support you to reality test each of the options, and to identify whether any further specific information is required in order to confirm or rule out any of the options. It may be that a trial arrangement is agreed, to be reviewed at the next meeting.
- The third and any subsequent meetings, will focus on considering further the identified options, and the impact of any updating information on those options. Agreed arrangements will be reality checked.
- Following conclusion of mediation, the mediator will provide you with a 'Memorandum of Understanding' within which the full detail of what has been agreed between you will be set out. The mediator will also provide you with a document that summarises each of your financial positions. These documents can be taken to a lawyer, to be drawn up in to draft consent orders, if required, for the court's approval.