ALW Family Mediation offers mediation services in the Gloucestershire area to assist couples going through divorce or separation to make decisions about their children, their home and their finances in a calm and supported environment.
Mediation involves each of you attending an initial separate meeting with the mediator to discuss some of the background and main issues and at this meeting the mediator will assess suitability for mediation. If it is decided not to proceed with mediation, the mediator will provide the relevant form to enable you to proceed to court. This is called a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM). For more information about MIAMs please click here.
THE MEDIATION PROCESS
If you both wish to come to mediation (and there are no suitability issues) the first session is arranged when the Agreement to Mediate is signed and an agenda for the mediation process is drawn up. We will discuss both of YOUR issues and adopt a timetable which suits both of YOUR needs. Sessions usually last for one and a half hours and the number of sessions will depend on the complexity of the issues. However, two to three sessions may be needed to consider children’s arrangements, and four to six sessions to deal with financial matters. One of the main principles of mediation is full and frank financial disclosure. Once this is provided, you will be able to make informed decisions going forward.
The discussions take place in the mediation room. There is no email correspondence or telephone calls between sessions about the issues, save for administrative purposes.
At the end of the process, the mediator will prepare summaries for you to take to your solicitors so that they can draw up the legal documents. The Open Summary sets out your financial situation, and the Memorandum of Understanding records the decisions made in the mediation.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
- Mediation involves a willingness to participate in the process: it is voluntary and not compulsory.
- In mediation you retain control of the decision making about your future arrangements: no-one will tell you what to do.
- Discussions in the sessions are without prejudice: this gives you the flexibility to consider all the options which the mediator will reality test with you.
- The time-table is yours to agree: you are not subject to the delays and costs of the court process