Step 1 - Consultation and Referral
I will respond to your enquiry or referral within 2 working days (usually the next day) and an appointment can be arranged within 2 weeks, usually much quicker.
Step 2 - Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
The MIAM is confidential. Information from this meeting is not disclosed to your ex-partner or anyone else, save to confirm whether mediation can go ahead.
I will help you identify the issues and your goals and strategies to get best outcomes. We will explore your support needs, the suitability of mediation and the alternatives, so that you can decide whether you wish to proceed. Mediation is voluntary at all times.
If you need to make a court application, I can provide you with the required confirmation of your attendance for up to four months after the MIAM.
Most people choose to attend individually. For those who attend jointly, you will each have some confidential one-on-one time with me.
Step 3 - Mediation Meetings
How it works… Mediation meetings take place jointly with your ex-partner. Shuttle mediation enables you to partake separately but joint meetings are usually more effective. I will be present throughout to offer impartial support and ensure you feel safe and comfortable.
During mediation, you are protected by confidentiality and legal privilege. This frees you up to explore issues and options safely, because information can only be used in legal proceedings if you both give consent.
Child Arrangements usually take two to three sessions, each of about 1 to 1 ¼ hours duration.
Property & Finance mediation (or Child Arrangements plus Property & Finance) usually takes three to five sessions, each of about 1 ½ to 2 hours duration.
What happens… You will identify the issues and agree the agenda. You will then share relevant facts and information before exploring possible outcomes. Mediation is child-focused and solution-focused throughout. You will begin to narrow down the options until you reach outcomes that are fair and mutually acceptable. Children’s views are usually represented by their parents, but I can offer direct Child Consultation meetings where both parents feel this would help.
You will remain in control of decision making throughout. You will be encouraged to take legal advice alongside mediation and legal costs are usually significantly reduced by taking part in mediation.
Step 4 - Outcome Documents
For Child Arrangements, your decisions will be recorded in a Parenting Plan, which can be made legally binding if you both choose.
In Property & Finance or All Issues Mediation (Children, Property & Finance), when agreed proposals are reached, I will draft a Memorandum of Understanding. This document forms the basis of a legally binding Consent Order once you have each taken independent legal advice. There is no need for either of you to attend a court hearing.
I will also complete an Open Financial Statement, confirming the facts and the evidence you have exchanged, which is needed to make your decisions legally binding.