The Mediation Process
Mediation normally involves joint sessions. At Progressive Mediation we prefer to co-mediate; two mediators are better able fairly, effectively and impartially to manage the process. You identify what you need to sort out. Typically this includes how to deal with the family home, a fair division of the assets, how to deal with any debts, financial support, especially for the children and the children’s living arrangements. In mediation you will be helped to consider the available options in ways which are sensible, realistic, workable and fair.
Most of our clients opt for sessions of an hour. Longer sessions are available and can be advantageous. We send you a written summary of all proposals discussed after each session. Most couples require two to four sessions to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement.
Open Statement of Financial Information – this is based on a complete disclosure of all financial information. It is an essential factual document for any separating couple, which will be required if there is to be a final financial resolution either by legal separation or divorce.
Memorandum of Understanding – this sets out mutually acceptable proposals for settlement. This document is not legally binding. Each party may wish to take separate legal advice on the Memorandum of Understanding. Its proposals may be incorporated within a legally binding agreement or form the basis of a Consent Order in divorce.
Taking legal advice
As mediators we cannot advise you. We can give you information and ideas as to what others have done in similar situations but our commitment to impartiality prevents us from advising you what is best for you. These days of course there is a large amount of information available online, much of which is helpful. Family and friends can be important sources of help and support during the separation process. But we believe that at a time when it is necessary that you make difficult decisions affecting you and your family’s future, it is worthwhile to obtain specific advice, informed by the facts of your circumstances in respect of the merits and drawbacks for you of options that are being considered in mediation, and indeed the implications and costs of not achieving agreement in mediation.
If you have any questions about family mediation please call Frances or Charles on 0117 9243880.
You must be prepared to be open and honest. If you have children they need to be put first. Together you can organise things to help them cope in the short term. Long-term mediation can help you both ensure they maintain the best possible relationship with both parents.
On average, couples have between two and four sessions of mediation, each session lasting about an hour to an hour and a half. After each mediation session couples are usually sent a written summary of all proposals discussed.
At the end of the mediation process couples are usually provided with two documents: an Open Summary of Financial Information and a Memorandum of Understanding.