A Mediator assists separating couples to reach an agreement in a peaceful and calm environment, without the stress and acrimony of potential court proceedings.
The Mediator is a neutral facilitator. The Mediator is there to ensure that both sides have a voice and that there is balance between the parties. The pace will be set by the separating couple. Mediation is normally much swifter than using the court process, but people are not rushed into hasty decisions. You will be encouraged to air any confusions or feelings of disadvantage and it is our role as mediator to ensure that both parties feel that they are given the opportunity to voice their views and feelings. Both parties needs will be taken into account.
Explaining the law
We are qualified family lawyers as well as mediators. We can supply you with details of the law, however we cannot give you legal advice.
Significant amounts of legal information can be provided during mediation and it is effective for both parties to receive the legal information together. It is important to ensure that your Mediator is sufficiently qualified to impart such information.
Having access to legal information can assist in your making informed decisions.
Seeking Expert Legal Advice
A Mediator cannot take the place of a lawyer and each party should have their own solicitor to advise them at each stage of the mediation process. The Mediator will advise you to seek legal advice at the outset and as the mediation process continues.
If the matter is financially complex we may call in the assistance of a financial advisor. The mediation process is not designed to cut corners or remove necessary expert input. For example, if there are pensions then an actuarial report may be needed. If there are properties a joint valuation from a surveyor could be commissioned.
As Mediators we require full financial disclosure. What this means is that full financial details will be needed prior to the situation moving forward. This is important to ensure that any agreement reached is not later rejected, either when one party finds out something that was not disclosed or their lawyers seek an assurance of full financial disclosure. Without both parties being fully aware of the others financial situation they are unable to make informed decisions.
Most people attend mediation with an idea of what solution they hope to achieve. It is a given that either sides preferred outcome will differ from the other. It is the mediators role to assist the couple to consider all options, including those that neither of them has considered. The Mediator is neutral and objective and can suggest possible solutions that may be acceptable but which neither party has put forward.
A skilled Mediator will also assist the parties in realising which options have merit and can be achievable
Is it practical?
The Mediator is there to ensure that any agreement reached is workable. Can you get such a mortgage? Can you afford this? Is this practical? These are example questions the Mediator will ask to ensure that the agreement reached during mediation is possible.