Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mediation?
An impartial mediatorhelps couples agree all arrangements for separation - whether regarding children, property, finance or pensions.
How will I know we have all the right information about the assets?
Our lawyer mediators are well accustomed to ensuring that the legal process of 'disclosure' is completed properly. They will help you understand your situation.
How will I know what the options are?
Our lawyer mediators are very well qualified and able to give first class legal information in a neutral way about complex cases involving pensions, businesses, companies, tax and similar issues.
What if one of you is more forceful than the other?
Mediators are trained to cope with power imbalances. They ensure both of you are heard and the process is designed to maintain a safe environment and a fair balance between you, as well as ensure you both understand all the financial information.
Will I get the best deal possible?
You are encouraged to take legal advice to find out about the possibilities. However, the best deal is really what suits you and your family. The mediator will help you think about options. Also, getting the best deal may cost more than the benefit and is not guaranteed anyway.
We have already started proceedings. Does that matter?
Mediation is a useful aid to resolving disputes at any stage, whether before or after proceedings have started. Court proceedings are frequently resolved by agreement. Mediation is a great aid to that end.
How long does it take?
Each session lasts about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, and it usually takes between 1 and 5 sessions to resolve the issues. The number of sessions depends on the range of issues and the complexity of your affairs. The introductory session lasts about an hour.
Is it binding?
No, not in conventional family mediation, but you can take the proposals to your solicitor for a binding Court Order or Separation Deed if that is needed in your case. Children’s arrangements don’t have to be made binding, but we could draw up a co-parenting plan, which you can sign if you wish.
In 1 Day Family Mediation, your solicitors are there at the end, not all day, to make your agreement binding.
Is it hard?
Yes, sometimes it can be difficult, but it is usually easier than the alternative of Court proceedings. Separation is painful, and sorting things out is not always easy, but it has to be done. It is a type of facilitated DIY divorce and separation.
Is it quick?
Mediation is usually as quick as clients want, with sessions arranged at weekly intervals if you wish or even in one long session if everyone is prepared ("1 Day Mediation"). However, it may take time to assemble the necessary information and sometimes you may benefit from a period of reflection between sessions. A mediated outcome will almost always be achieved before your case could proceed to a Court hearing.
Is mediation always appropriate?
Not always. Both parties have to want to take part in mediation - it is voluntary. Also, if there is heavy domestic violence, it may not be possible to mediate. The mediator will make a careful risk assessment.
I don't want to meet my ex - do I have to ?
We can offer shuttle mediation, with you in separate rooms, in appropriate cases. We would talk to you about the implications of this at the time.