Mediation begins with one of you making contact with the mediator. You may have decided yourself that, rather than trying to negotiate through a solicitor, you will try mediation, and you have then made contact directly. Or you may already have appointed a solicitor and he or she has recommended mediation and made a referral. At this point, I will send you an initial form to complete giving me basic information, and I will ask you to tell your former partner or spouse to contact me. I will not make the first contact with them directly: they should initiate contact. A referral form will then be sent to them to complete.
Before mediation can commence, I will need to meet with each of you individually, to explain the mediation process, to gain a basic understanding of the issues which are in dispute, and to assess each person's suitability to mediation. Not every couple will be able to use mediation as a means to settle their dispute. If a mediation can commence, I will give each of you a copy of an Agreement to Mediate, in effect a statement of the principles and terms under which the mediation takes place. You will each need to sign a copy of this Agreement at the first full joint mediation session.
The first session
At the first joint session, once the Agreement to Mediate has been signed by both of you, I will ask you each in turn what the issues are that you seek to resolve, and then we agree an order in which they are to be considered. Discussions can then begin, ideas and proposals considered.
There is no set pattern to the mediation process. The aim is to resolve all of the issues that you have brought to be explored. To do so may require simple discussions. Some matters require documentation. If you are trying to resolve financial issues, you will each need to make full disclosure of your respective positions, so that discussions can take place with all the necessary information to hand. Each of you will need to have confidence that the other is being fully open about their position, or the process can break down. The goal is a full resolution of all matters, which the mediator will then record in a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Memorandum of Understanding
This is a document prepared by the mediator, usually but not always at the conclusion of the process, in which the proposals of the parties are recorded. It is often accompanied by a short Financial Statement in which the parties’ financial positions as they stand are set out, to place the Memorandum in a financial landscape. The Memorandum is written in everyday terms to be clearly understandable by everyone, and the reasons for any particular decision are also recorded. It is meant both for the parties to keep and to refer to, but it can also be provided to a solicitor as the basis for preparing an order of the Court by consent, to make the proposals legally binding.
Initial individual meeting £100 per person
Hourly mediation charge £110 per person
(Each session usually lasts 90 minuted)
Preparation of all documentation including
Financial Statement and Memorandum of Understanding £220 per person