How Does Mediation Work?
Both parties are offered an initial appointment, on a one-to-one basis, to determine the suitability of your case for mediation and to assess whether you may be eligible to receive your mediation for free. At this meeting we will also explain to you the process and principles of mediation which will hopefully allow you to make an informed decision about whether you wish to enter into the mediation process.
You are then given time to decide if you wish to mediate. If both parties agree to enter into the mediation process, an appointment will be made where the mediator meets with you both together in one and a half hour sessions until the process is complete. This can take between 6 weeks and 6 months, depending on the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved and the willingness of the parties to adopt a ‘give and take’ approach.
Upon agreement/proposals being reached, the Mediator will draw up a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ or a ‘Summary Letter’. You may each take a copy of these proposals reflected in your Memorandum of Understanding or Summary Letter and a copy of your Open Statements of Financial Information to your respective solicitors for their comments, before it is submitted to the court in the form of a “consent order”. If it is appropriate to do so, the court will make orders confirming your arrangements.
Unfortunately, on some occasions mediation breaks down for various reasons. When this happens if parties are instructing solicitors we will inform them.
If either party or their solicitors wish to make an application to the court they can request from us our endorsement of the form FM1 or Form A or the C100. If parties are in receipt of public funding then there will be no charge for the FM1 or the Form A or the C100, however, if parties’ are not in receipt of public funding, we will charge £50.00 plus VAT to endorse the forms for the parties’ solicitors
Of the small number of mediations that do break down, couples are always given the option to return to the process at any time in the future.