In civil cases:
If you decide to seek mediation, we will contact all those involved to see if they agree to take part. The process is voluntary and you can withdraw at any stage. Once all parties have agreed to take part, we will arrange a neutral place to meet.
All parties meet with the mediator who will explain the process and agree some basic rules for the meeting. Each person then has the chance to explain their views and give their side of the argument.
The mediator can then meet with each party individually to go into more detail about their position and to help them explore the possibilities for agreement and find out what suggestions they have to resolve the dispute.
Very often this helps people to focus on what is important to them and helps to find solutions that may not have been thought of before.
We will spend as much time as necessary going between the parties until an agreement is reached.
Both parties will then sign the agreement. This need not be legally binding, leaving you free to find another way of dealing with the dispute in the future, but if both parties agree we can make it legally binding.
- whether or not you reach an agreement, everything discussed remains confidential. The mediator will not pass information on to the other party unless you specifically ask them to. Nothing discussed in mediation can be used in court proceedings.
- the mediator is impartial. We will not take sides or give an opinion. It is entirely up to you how you choose an agreement you find acceptable.
- you remain in control at all times - mediation is voluntary and you decide how much information you disclose to the other party. You can walk away at any time.
- there is a good chance that an agreement will be reached on the day
In family cases:
There will be an intital Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAMS)
The mediator will discuss whether the issues are suitable for mediation and explain more about the mediation process so that the parties can then make an informed decision as to to whether or not they wish to mediate. These meetngs are usually held separately.
If the parties agree to mediate they will arrange with the mediator a series of meetings lasting up to an hour and a half each to discuss matters which are in issue and work towards reaching an agreement in principal. At that point the mediator will draw up a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU can be used to draw up a legally binding agreement.