Mediation can help you and your partner/spouse settle arrangements for the future, whether for your children, your money or both.
The benefit of Mediation is that it can:
- Reduce tension and hostility.
- Help you make informed decisions that are right for your circumstances.
- Keep communication channels open.
- Be less expensive and quicker than other methods of dispute resolution.
- Help children by showing their parents can work together to resolve issues.
Mediators provide impartial guidance to help you understand what matters to you and to make your own choices about the best way forward. They will help you reach practical solutions which feel fair to both of you.
Mediators are neutral and will not take sides. They cannot give legal advice to either of you but can provide a great deal of information. It is sensible for you to obtain legal advice alongside the Mediation process.
How does Mediation work?
To help you reach an arrangement with which you are both content, you will probably have a number of sessions together with the Mediator – four or five one to two hour sessions is not uncommon.
Once you have proposals you both find acceptable the Mediator will prepare a clear and concise written summary which will be sent to each of you to discuss with your solicitor. If you remain content with the proposals, your solicitor or your partner’s solicitor will convert the summary into a legally binding document to be sent to the Court for a Judge to approve.
MIAMs (Mediation, Information and Assessment Meetings)
Generally, before an application can be made to Court, you are required to attend a MIAM. A MIAM is a meeting between you and a Mediator, or you, a Mediator and your spouse/partner, at which you will be provided with information not only about Mediation but also other methods of dispute resolution which do not involve going through the Court process. The Mediator will assess, having discussed options with you, whether or not Mediation could work for you both. A MIAM usually lasts around 45 minutes.
If your case is not suitable for Mediation, the Mediator will supply you with a signed form to enable you to start Court proceedings.
The aim of a MIAM is to give you information about Mediation and other methods of out of court dispute resolution so that you can consider whether Mediation or other dispute resolution could work for you and your former partner/spouse rather than starting Court proceedings.