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How does Divorce Mediation Work?
The general process for financial mediation is:
- The parties, must themselves choose mediation, as this is a voluntary process and it is for them to approach a mediator, either direct or by way of referral through a solicitor. The Mediator then engages with the couple by way of a three-way email setting out how they propose to undertake the mediation.
- The mediator will send a confidential preliminary information form to the parties to complete and return at the beginning of the mediation to see whether or not mediation is the right process for them.
- At the intake session, the parties will be offered the opportunity to see the mediator on their own to discuss mediation in general, how it will work together with the specific issues in their case. The parties can opt to have a joint intake session if appropriate. The intake session enables the mediator to decide whether or not the case is suitable for mediation.
- If the parties decide to engage in the mediation process and it is deemed suitable then the parties will go through the agreement to mediate which will be signed by everyone. This document is a contract governing the mediation process.
- The parties and the mediator work out together how they move matters forward, formulating an agenda and then working through the process having upwards of three sessions where they will consider various options, which gradually reduce down to a final option that they believe is suitable for them. The mediator’s role is to facilitate the discussion. The mediator must remain impartial and cannot provide advice to either party.
- Some cases involve shuttle mediation which involves the parties sitting in different rooms and the mediator going between the two.
- The option agreed by the parties will be cross checked by the mediator and will be sent out either as a letter or memorandum of understanding for the clients to take to their solicitors.
- The parties’ solicitors will check the negotiated settlement/agreements and, if the agreement falls within the parameters of what is reasonable and likely to be approved by the court, then one of the solicitors will draft a consent order and submit it to the Judge for approval.
If you require any advice regarding a matter like this, then please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of family law solicitors.