Mediation is a process by which those in dispute talk with each other to try and find solutions that work for them. It is used in family disputes – including divorce, separation, and child issues, as well as in civil disputes such as disagreements over property or a workplace grievance. The mediator is neutral and does not decide the outcome – participants make their own decisions. Mediation is a voluntary process but the courts encourage people to mediate as it can save time, money and stress for everyone involved. It can also be quicker and more effective than going to court.
A trained and accredited mediator will be independent, even if they operate from a solicitor’s office. They won’t take sides and will support you both. They can help you to come up with a list of things to discuss, such as arrangements for children and communication issues. They will talk to you separately and may contact your partner if necessary. If you have children your mediator may be able to see them, but this is only possible with specialist training and depends on the individual circumstances of your case.
The mediator will usually run a series of mediation sessions – between three and five one to two hour meetings. You can consult your lawyer between sessions for legal advice if you wish. Depending on your circumstances you might be eligible for public funding to cover the cost of mediation through the family mediation voucher scheme. The mediator will talk to you about this at your MIAM meeting if it applies to your situation. mediation uk