The mediator initially sees the parties separately. This gives them the opportunity to discuss their current situation and to ask any questions in complete confidence. The mediator explains the process and how it works so that everyone has a clear understanding of what is involved.
Following the initial meetings the mediator assesses whether the process is appropriate, and the parties also have the opportunity to decide if they wish to engage in the process, or if they feel that some other process suits them better;
If mediation is to go ahead, the mediator arranges a convenient time for both parties to meet at the first joint mediation meeting. Where the mediation concerns financial matters, the mediator usually asks the parties to start collating financial information in advance of the first joint meeting.
The joint meetings usually last between 1 1/2 - 2 hours, and are fixed at the convenience of the participants; At the meetings the mediator helps to explore all of the options for a constructive resolution of the issues;
At the end of the mediation process, the mediator summarises the agreements reached and also provides a summary of the participants’ financial circumstances. These are not binding on the participants until the court has approved the agreements in the form of a court order;
Where mediation relates to arrangements for children, the mediator provides the parties with a Parenting Agreement setting out the arrangements;
If mediation is not appropriate, or mediation breaks down, the mediator can also provide the official certificate that the parties will require to start court proceedings should they wish to do so;
By managing the process, and providing relevant information where required the mediator helps to ensure that making arrangements on separation or divorce is less overwhelming than it might otherwise be.
Whatever your personal circumstances the above is only a guide and we would advise you to contact us to obtain definitive advice as you will appreciate that each person’s circumstances are unique to them.