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Back to Our Thinking

How Does Mediation Work? The Ten Steps of Mediation

Family Partner Victoria Sterritt walks through the ten steps of Family Mediation for day final day of Family Mediation Week

Ten Steps of Mediation

 

  1. Information gathering. Consider, perhaps with your family solicitor, whether mediation is appropriate for your particular situation. Your family solicitor can help and signpost you to recommended mediators. 
     
  2. Make initial contact with the identified mediator and provide some basic information; name, contact details and similar. The other participants will be required to do likewise. 
     
  3. The mediator will provide all participants with the same pre-meeting information and documentation to be completed. This will include some administration about terms of business, an agreement to mediate and fee structure. There will also be some preliminary documentation to be completed by each participant and returned to the mediator. 
     
  4. Each participant will be invited to an individual meeting. This is an initial meeting just for you and the mediator. Each participant will have their own separate individual meeting during which the mediator will explain options so you can consider the best forms of mediation to meet your needs, what you hope to achieve through mediation and any specific concerns you wish to address. All participants will have an individual meeting with the mediator.
     
  5. If mediation is considered appropriate then the first joint mediation session can go ahead. This can happen in various ways e.g. via Zoom, in person where the participants sit in one room with the mediator or shuttle mediation where the mediator moves between the participants who are sat in separate rooms. At the outset, it is important to make sure all involved confirm they understand the mediation process and it is helpful to agree on an agenda to take matters forward.
     
  6. It can be agreed that specific sessions can be scheduled for specific issues for example you assign some sessions to deal with children matters alone, with other sessions being assigned to deal with the finances upon separation.
     
  7. After each session, your mediator can provide a summary of the discussions, agreed points and action points. This is a helpful reminder of any information to be obtained or shared in advance of the next session. It enables the process to progress and flow more consistently.
     
  8. Sessions are scheduled at your pace but sometimes it can be helpful to allow for a period of reflection, if necessary, and or to signpost to obtain independent advice such as from family solicitors, financial experts or therapeutic professionals as necessary and to assist informed progress.
     
  9. If agreed then the outcome of the process will be recorded, for financial matters, in a Memorandum of Understanding (this is Without Prejudice and not legally binding) along with an Open Financial Settlement and, for child arrangements, a Parenting Plan.
     
  10. The outcome documents can then be provided to your family solicitor who will advise in respect of finalising all matters and converting them into binding agreements. 

To discuss how we can help with Family Mediation, please contact Victoria Sterritt on victoria.sterritt@seddons.co.uk or by phone 020 7725 8066.

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