In recent years, family mediation has become a favored way of resolving family conflicts. If you’re currently in the process of separation from your ex-partner and you’d like to reach a solution that will be the most beneficial for both of you, you may want to look into family mediation.
Nowadays, courts are not the only way to settle disagreements regarding children and finances in the event of separation. However, just like all things legal, the exact step-by-step process may be unknown to you if this is your first time using the services. Luckily, we’re here to show you how everything works so you can go through the family mediation process as swiftly as possible.
Find a qualified mediator
Before you start, you need to find a mediator you trust. The easiest way to reach a mediator is to have your solicitor recommend one to you and make a referral.
Though it’s easier to just go for the first mediator your solicitor refers you to, it’s important to also check their accreditations on your own. Their accreditations should be transparent on their website.
Prepare for MIAM
MIAM is the first meeting you’ll have with your mediator. Here you’ll present your case to them and you’ll be introduced to the entire process. You may ask any questions you possibly have. You may be confused about filling in all the required forms such as the endlessly confusing form c100. Luckily, your mediator can also help you with that.
In the first meeting, you should tell your mediator about your expectations. Tell them the terms of the separation you find non-negotiable and those you’re willing to compromise on. Furthermore, you can choose to have your MIAM season separately or joint, though it’s highly advisable for each party to have their own session. This way you can me bore transparent with the mediator and you wouldn’t have to hold back. If one party doesn’t want to attend the initial meeting, they are still required to present all the forms before the joint session.
Joint mediation meeting
The next step in the mediation process is to conduct a joint mediation session after both parties have attended their MIAM and the mediator has determined that both parties are willing to go through with the process. Each party will receive a client care package from the mediator in advance of the meeting, which will include: a letter of engagement from the mediator, an agreement to mediate, a financing agreement, and, if necessary, a financial disclosure booklet.
After the session, all parties and the mediator will have a chance to talk about what they want the final conclusion to be. There are a variety of choices that may be explored by the mediator, depending on what each party has offered and the mediator’s advice. This meeting’s goal is to narrow down the concerns and come to an agreement that both sides are happy with.
Don’t expect to wrap up the situation in just one meeting. Two to three sessions are normal for a mediation process, although it may take more depending on the complexity of the problems being addressed.
Reaching an agreement
After each session, the mediator needs to put all that was discussed in writing. Also, when the final agreement is reached, they will have to document it. However, it’s really important to know that mediation agreements aren’t legally binding since mediators aren’t solicitors.
In order to officiate the terms of your separation, you need to take all the documentation to your solicitors who can then make the documentation legitimate under the law.
We hope that we’ve managed to demystify the family mediation process for you. Don’t forget to manage your expectations and remember that mediation is about finding solutions that work for both parties.