The first stage is for one or both parties to make a referral to a family mediation service. This will usually include contact details and a brief explanation of the issues
Intake Meeting or MIAM
Each client will usually attend a separate meeting
The purpose of the meeting is to:
explain the mediation process
gain and understanding of what both clients’ hopes, issues and concerns are
assess whether or not mediation is suitable.
If it is deemed suitable the parties will be asked to sign an Agreement to Mediate
Each meeting usually takes up to an hour and can be done online.
The sessions will begin by identifying the issues that are causing the disputes as well as each clients hopes and concerns about future arrangements. The mediator will encourage useful discussions whilst remaining impartial and will help the clients consider which options are available and viable. Whilst the mediator wont give legal advice they can help the parties to agree solutions specific to their family matters.
The number of session needed will vary depending on the issues and what progress is made in each session. The mediator will send a written summary of each session.
Each session lasts up to 90 minutes
Documenting the Agreement
When all of the issues have been agreed the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In financial cases this will also be accompanied by an Open Statement of Finances which contains all of the assets, liabilities, income and outgoings of both clients and is based upon the information they provide prior to and during the mediation sessions. The clients can then take the MoU to a solicitor and it can be made into a Consent Order and stamped by the court should they decide that they want it to be legally binding.