Once you have been in touch, I will get back to you as soon as possible, preferably by phone. I believe that personal interaction is important – the connection between the mediator and the couple in mediation is integral to the dynamics of the mediation process.
I will give you initial information about mediation so you have a better idea of how it works and you can ask me questions.
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King Jr
Initial one to one meetings
If you decide that you want to go ahead with mediation, I invite you in separately for an individual meeting. At this meeting we talk about your circumstances and the issues and concerns you hope to resolve in mediation. This meeting takes an hour to an hour and a half.
This initial one to one meeting is also a chance to see if the mediation route is right for you. Mediation is voluntary and there is no obligation to continue if it doesn’t suit you.
If after your individual meetings, you both feel that you want to resolve matters through mediation, then we will arrange the first mediation meeting. This is a face to face meeting for you both with me.
You help define and drive the meeting. During this first meeting we can address any pressing matters and then look at the longer term solutions that will be required.
Each mediation meeting will last between one and a half to two hours. At the end of each meeting you will decide when you want to meet next.
How long will mediation take?
Usually it takes between 3 and 6 mediation meetings to be able to come to a set of workable proposals. How often you wish to meet is up to you, which is one of the benefits of mediation. It is your process and you remain in charge of it.
There may be times when there is a natural break or times when a longer gap is needed between meetings. For instance, if you both need to gather financial information for the next meeting. Or if you just want some thinking time after issues have been aired and clarified.
Will I need legal advice?
There is a huge benefit to having legal advice outside of the mediation process. Being aware of your legal position will allow you to be more confident about the decisions you are making in the mediation process. Although your mediator can give you legal information throughout the mediation, your mediator is impartial and cannot give legal advice to either of you.
What does a successful mediation look like?
During mediation you work constructively together to shape a set of proposals that you are both content to move forward with.
I will draft a Memorandum of Understanding setting out your proposals. You can take this to your solicitors who will advise you and will create a legally binding agreement. If we have dealt with financial issues in mediation, I will also collate your financial information into an Open Financial Summary which your solicitors will be able to verify and use.