The Mediation Process

I will be happy to speak to clients on the phone free of charge to give further information about my mediation service. For contact information click here.

If both parties have decided to proceed with mediation then all that is needed is to phone me to make a suitable appointment, and  each should then complete the mediation referral form and return it to me. 

Download the Mediation Referral Form here (word document - opens in new window)

At the first meeting I would spend a few minutes with each person separately to ensure that there were no matters which may make the process unsuitable. We would then proceed to a joint meeting to consider which items needed to be resolved and what next steps should be.

For those who are not sure if mediation is the best way forward, I can offer a Mediation Information and Advice Meeting (MIAM) which explains the mediation process and allows me to assess whether there are any matters which might make mediation unsuitable.  This normally takes about an hour, and I would talk to the parties separately.   It is now a requirement of the courts that any person wishing to issue a court application in relation to children or financial matters will normally be required to attend a MIAM first, and will need forms  signed by a mediator to indicate that either mediation has not proved suitable or that it has broken down.

Each meeting may last up to two hours.  The number of meetings required depends on the extent and complexity of the issues to be resolved, but on average three or four meetings would be required to resolve financial matters,  and one or two for children issues only. 

I do offer a consultation with children as an option.  For full details of the process for consulting children can be viewed here 

I do not take sides or make decisions for you.  I help you gather all the information to explore the options open to you.  I can give information about the legal framework and how it works, but cannot give legal advice as to what you should do.  I make sure that during meetings certain ground rules are respected, thus allowing discussions to be as balanced and productive as possible.

I will suggest, where necessary, that both parties obtain legal advice to enable them to make fully informed decisions about settlement.   Having legal advice in parallel with the mediation process increases the likelihood of a mediated settlement being adhered to and converted into a legally binding court order.   Normally solicitors will be needed to make any financial agreement reached in mediation legally binding, and to deal with transfers or sale of property or assets.

Where financial matters need to be resolved, full financial information must be given.   I will explain at the first meeting what is required by way of completed forms and documents.  This information enables both parties and myself to have a clear view of the position as a basis for discussions and enables solicitors to give proper legal advice.  The same information would also be required by a judge who was being asked to approve an agreed court order.    If for any reason matters cannot be agreed in mediation, then the financial information provided can be used by solicitors without having to repeat the process, thus saving time and money.

All financial information is provided on an ‘open’ basis so that it can be used in court if need be.  All other information and discussion is confidential or ‘privileged’ and may not be referred to in court.  The only exception to confidentiality is if there appears to be a risk of serious harm to a child, or if there is a requirement of disclosure under the money laundering regulations.

With the parties agreement,  I will prepare a summary of the financial information provided and a summary of any agreed settlement proposals.  This will enable solicitors to make them into a legally binding form should the parties wish, and it should be remembered that proposals agreed in mediation are not legally binding unless this happens.

Payment is required for each meeting at the end of the meeting, and in advance for preparation of mediation summaries.  The cost is normally shared between the parties unless they agree something different.  Payment may be by cheque, cash or internet bank transfer on the day of the meeting. For details of charges click here (link)

Meetings are held in offices in either Macclesfield or Stockport whichever is more convenient.  The offices currently being used are at 250 Park Lane Macclesfield SK11 8AD and 11th Floor Regent House, Heaton Lane, Stockport. SK4 1BS.   Both have parking close by and the Stockport venue is within easy walking distance of the station.

 

 

Family Mediation - MIAMS - Divorce disputes - Custody issues in divorce - Mediation in Cheshire - Mediation in Stockport - Mediation in Macclesfield