How Does Family Mediation Work?
Discover How Family Mediation Works To Resolve Your Issues
Here’s what you need to know about how Family Mediation works and how it can help you….
Why Does Family Mediation Works So Well…
If You’ve Not Used It Before You’ll want To Know How Family Mediation Works – Well, Here’s How…
Using Family mediation is a better way to resolve issues arising in divorce and separation, so it’s understandably becoming the default choice for couples and families when they want to resolve conflicts and get to agreements on finances, property and most importantly their children.
It will probably be the first time that either person has used mediation. So here’s a handy explanation of the various steps involved in the mediation process, so you know what to expect:
Stage One: Referral to mediation
The very first thing is a call to a family mediation service. We often call this a “referral” because it often comes from the solicitor dealing with a divorce for one of the parties, but the parties themselves can get in touch too. The referral will include providing the mediation service with contact details for both parties and a short summary of the issues they need to use mediation to resolve.
Stage Two: The First Meeting – also known as – the Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
After the first stage of contact, the next stage is an initial meeting. This is called the Mediation and Assessment Meeting or “MIAM”. For this appointment the mediator will meet each party separately. The MIAM is so that the family mediator can meet each party, talk to them and listen to the issues and then assess whether mediation is the right thing to resolve the issues raised. The mediator will also find out whether both parties are willing to attend mediation.
Most cases benefit from mediation. However, the if mediator thinks that it is unsuitable or if one of the parties doesn’t want to go to mediation, then the mediator will simply provide a signed C100 form (for children applications)/a Form A (for financial applications) to prove attendance at the MIAM and enable the beginning of court proceedings.
Stage Three: First Mediation Session
After the MIAM, the next stage of the family mediation process is naturally to move to into actual mediation. The mediator will convene what is called a “joint mediation session”. You can think of it simply as a “first appointment”.
Before that appointment takes place, the mediator will send both parties some documents to give them all the information they need. We call this a “client care package” will consist of:
- A client engagement letter
- An agreement to mediate
- A funding agreement
- A financial disclosure booklet (if appropriate).
During each session, the parties sit down with the family mediator and are able to give their respective views and say what outcome they would like.
The mediator will help the parties to consider the available options based available resources, and the wishes and proposals of each party to explore to what extent these options are workable.
The mediator is aiming to help narrow the options to those that will work best so as to resolve each issue at hand in order to reach an overall agreement that both parties find acceptable.
Normally a family mediation process will involve several sessions, with more required depending on the complexity of issues to be resolved.
Stage Four: Ongoing Mediation Process and Substantiation
When each mediation session is complete, the family mediator will write a summary called a “mediation record” which lists which issues were discussed and which proposals put forward and agreed. The mediator will send this to the parties along with any particular tasks or actions required of them before the next session.
Stage Five: Conclusion
At the end of the sessions, when the parties have concluded their overall agreement the family mediator will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and an Open Financial Statement (OFS) if appropriate.
This mediation documentation isn’t of itself legally binding. To make it formal, the parties need a solicitor to create an “order” that the court will officially endorse based on the mediation outcome and documents – e.g. a consent order.
Family Mediation Sumary: A win-Win
Mediation works because it is essentially a negotiation with guidance. During the mediation the parties begin to negotiate a settlement of their dispute, aided by their Mediator.
The settlement and agreement that emerges is something they can believe in because they negotiated it themselves and were involved every step of the way.
Settling disputes through mediation can save money and almost always leaves parties in a better state of mind.
Lawyers have happier clients, and courts have a reduced litigation case load burden.
Mediation is, therefore, a win-win for all concerned in most cases.
So, mediation can be faster, cheaper and much less stressful than going all the way to court, and it can help participants focus on effectively communicating with each other, rather than arguing and attacking one another, to get to an agreed solution instead.
It leads to a successful resolution in around 90% of disputes, so it may be a very worthwhile alternative for you to consider…
How Does family Mediation Work?
Find out more about how family mediation works and the stages of the process in our handy, informative video below…
Find Out Why Mediation Is Such A Good Idea – Our Top 10 Reasons To Use Mediation
Watch our useful video on why you should use mediation – we outline some of the best reasons why it makes sense below…
"There's so many good reasons to mediate..."
You can see there’s a world of good reasons to use mediation, so why not call us now?