Please see our blog ‘How do I start mediation?’ for more information on the first part of the process.
Once you have both have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) and provided you are both willing and if mediation is suitable, you attend a mediation session together to discuss the issues that you need to sort out.
You arrive at different times so you are not left waiting together. The mediator will spend a short time with each of you on your own to check how you are to see if you have any worries about the session.
Once you are both comfortable to proceed, you both meet with the mediator who will start the session with an introduction. You will each be asked to sign the Agreement to Mediate, which will have been sent to you in advance of the meeting. This document sets out the principles of mediation as discussed with you in your MIAM.
In family mediation any issue arising from your separation can be discussed but most people wish to resolve issues around their children, their finances or a combination of the two. There is a structure to the mediation process, but within that the parties determine the content. Typically, a mediation session might run something like this:
Child Issues Mediations
The mediator will ask you to agree an agenda by identifying which issues there may be between you that you are comfortable to discuss.
Once an agenda has been agreed, the mediator will usually ask you for some information about your child or children and you’ll all spend some time talking about what the children are experiencing, how things are for them and what their life looks like.
The mediator would usually then ask you to say what arrangements (if any) you have agreed and in place for your child or children for example where they live, who they spend time with, what financial provision is made for them.
The mediator will then ask you to make proposals as to how you would like things to be for your child or children. Remember you’re in control, the mediator does not have a magic wand, you have the power to change what is happening and make things less stressful and the mediator will support you to do this. You will both then discuss these options, with the mediator helping to give structure and focus to your discussion.
Mediation is usually most successful when you have 2 mediation sessions; one to discuss how things need to change and plan for how to do that and the second to discuss how the new arrangements are going, what is working and if any adjustments are needed.
If you reach an agreement, and over 70% of the people we meet with in mediation do, then the mediator will record this for you in a Parenting Plan, which will be sent to you after the session.
For information about finance and also property mediations please see our other blogs:
Top Tips for Sorting Out Maintenance
Sharing financial information in divorce
Or for more information about what is discussed in this blog please call us on 01670 528441 or contact us via our website.