How Does Mediation Work?

Initial Assessment

You may have heard or been told to attend a MIAM, this is a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. At the MIAM you will see the mediator on your own (although you can bring someone for support if you wish). I also offer telephone MIAMs where required.

The process of mediation and how mediation works will be explained. You will be able to discuss your situation, what happens next and what is expected of you. This meeting is also for everyone to assess whether mediation is appropriate.

Once both parties have been seen by the mediator and everyone agrees that mediation should take place, a joint session will be arranged.

Subsequent Meetings

The subsequent sessions will take place with all parties present each session lasts up to 90 minutes. Everyone will be asked to sign an Agreement To Mediate which shows you are willing to participate and continue with the process.

At the first joint meeting it will be agreed what you each want to achieve in mediation and what you would like to discuss. If you are in mediation to discuss your financial aspects of you separtaion/divorce it is likely in the first session that the financial disclosure booklet will be discussed.

The number of sessions that are required is dependant on many things. However, it is estimated for Child Only cases it may require 1-3 meetings and for Property and Finance or All Issues ( both children and finance) 2-4 meetings.

The mediator is not able to give financial or legal advice you can seek professional advice at anytime. Remember mediation is voluntary it can be stopped at anytime.

The Outcome

When individuals are in conflict it is hard to see how the outcome can be positive, however if you commit to the mediation process, some resolution can be found.

Often separating or divorcing couples want documentation that summarises the agreements that have been reached in mediation. Towards the end of mediation the following documents can be prepared.

A Summary of Financial Information will be prepared if financial issues have been resolved. This is an "open" document which means that it is a factual summary of the finanacial situation. This statement can be used in any financial application at court. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document created by the mediator that summarises all the propsals made.

Both these documents can be used to support communication and actions moving forward. However, if agreements can not be reached and a decision has been made to stop mediation then the appropriate court forms can be signed to support an application to court.