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Call us on: 01985 841 415

 or 07752 311 819


Email: mediationmovingforward@btinternet.com


Information

 

We have found that people who have a clear idea of what mediation is get the best results. Our information spans the process from start to finish and gives you a good indicator of what to expect. Our Privacy Policy is described at the end of this section.

 

What is mediation? In its essence, mediation is simply having a conversation with someone you need to sort something out with, having the benefit of an impartial third party managing the conversation. It revolves around a structured and recognised process. Agreements in mediation can focus on the family home, bank accounts, debts, pensions, support for any children and/or a previous spouse, children’s living arrangements, grandparents, care arrangements for elderly relatives – to name the most usual areas. It is not about apportioning fault or blame; it is about moving forwards.


Why mediate? It makes sense to seriously consider mediation for the reasons given below:

  • Mediation focuses on the future, rather than gets stuck in the past.
  • You are in control of the costs, as you pay on a meeting by meeting basis.
  • If you are a parent, your children are likely to benefit from lower levels of conflict and you are likely to have more time and energy to give to them.
  • If separating you are likely to feel more positive about yourself after having made a dignified break with your previous spouse/partner.
  • In most cases it is a requirement of the Court that a mediator provides documentation before proceedings can be initiated (by signing C100, Form A for example).
  • A mediated agreement can be submitted to the Court for its approval and ratification.


How do I establish if mediation is right for me? Initially you may be apprehensive about mediation. You may find it very difficult to talk to the other person and do not like the prospect of being in the same room together. You each have an initial confidential and separate consultation with the mediator, with each consultation lasting up to 1 hour. Appropriate timing and sufficient motivation/willingness are key to a successful mediation. Therefore your mediator does not pressurise you to mediate. Most people who have met the mediator for an individual meeting choose to continue with the mediation process. Most people who continue to mediate after their initial appointments do reach an agreement.

 

What is shuttle mediation and do you provide it? Shuttle mediation is where there is little or no contact between people during their mediation appointments. At your individual MIAM the pros and cons of conducting mediation on a shuttle basis are outlined to assist you to make an informed choice.


I have been for my private consultation (MIAM), what happens now? If you have not spoken to the other party about mediation prior to your own individual consultation, you can choose whether it is you or your mediator who contacts the other person in order to arrange their individual consultation. If after your appointment you do not wish to mediate, then the other person will not be contacted and your mediator can sign the relevant Court form, where relevant.


What happens when the other person does not want to mediate? If your mediator ascertains that the other person does not wish to attend a private consultation, or that mediation is not suitable, your Mediator can issue the relevant documentation for the Court. Your mediator will also make you aware of other forms of dispute resolution such as Collaborative Law.

 

There has been domestic abuse in our relationship, is mediation appropriate? This clearly depends on the nature of the abuse and its impact. In separating families it is not uncommon for domestic violence to be experienced during separation, even when it has not been a feature of the relationship prior to that. Your mediator will ask you about any domestic violence and abuse during the initial individual consultations. If you feel, for example, that your experiences with the other person or feelings towards them will make it very difficult for you to put your point of view across, it is important you inform the mediator about this. If there is a sustained threat of violence or intimidation, mediation is not appropriate.

 

What happens in a mediation meeting? An agenda is drawn up at the start of each mediation meeting and reflects what you both want to discuss. Mediators have some input into the agenda, particularly with regard to financial mediation, as that follows a clear process. Your mediator does not take sides and allows you both time to talk and ask each other questions.


Whatever you agree is summarised with you by your mediator and, where practical, is written down during the meeting. Where appropriate you may arrange for a record of important decisions/things to remember to be sent to you following a meeting. You may find it helpful that your mediator prepares either one or more of three key documents for you. A Memorandum of Understanding outlines what you have agreed and provides an important foundation should you wish to have your agreement made legally binding. Where the main focus is children, a Parenting Plan often serves as a useful framework. An Open Statement of Financial Information accompanies most financial mediations.

 

A succinct way of describing the roles in mediation is to say that your mediator manages the process and you both, as the clients, make the decisions.

 

Can it be beneficial for our children to have their say (known as child inclusive mediation)? Children and young people are only invited to talk on their own and in confidence to your mediator when there is agreement that it would be beneficial to the children/young people themselves. Interestingly most children and young people like to be invited to do so even if they decline the invitation itself!


Child inclusive mediation can have many benefits, some examples of which are: It can provide a greater focus and clarity when discussing  your children's needs. It can help sustain a child's relationship with both parents. Children also value that their parents want to listen to their views, without having the responsibility of having to choose between their parents. Sometimes too, children and young people may simply benefit from having someone to confide in.

 

More information is provided at the initial individual consultation; it is offered to families where the purpose of child inclusive mediation is seen to be clear and beneficial.

How many mediation meetings are needed? Once your mediator has met with you both individually, you are given a rough estimate of the number of meetings needed. Below are some general guidelines:

  • Children's issues normally require 2-3 meetings.

  • Finance and property issues normally require 3-4 meetings.

  • All issues mediation (that is children, finance and property) normally require between 4-6 meetings.

Meetings are scheduled around your work and family commitments and usually last 1.5 hours.

 

I might qualify for publicly funded mediation. If so, how do I go about applying for it? If you phone us we will guide you on the steps to take.

 

I probably won't qualify for public funding, but I need to keep my costs down. How much will it cost?  Our fees are highly competitive. The fee of £60 per person per hour applies to all appointments in Warminster and Frome. Due to the higher costs in Salisbury this is £70 per person per hour. A private consultation (MIAM) therefore costs either £60 or £70, depending on the venue used.There are no administration charges and the time your mediator spends before and after your appointments is not charged to you. The only exception to this is the preparation of the key documents outlined earlier. Each of these documents costs £60 per person to prepare.

 

I haven't got a solicitor, do I need one for mediation?Solicitors and mediators have different roles. A solicitor provides important legal information and advice and also drafts the paperwork for the Judge to consider in those areas where agreements can be made legally binding. Mediators are impartial and therefore, as is best practice, we recommend our clients to take legal advice at key points in the mediation process, particularly where the issues are financial. Seeking legal advice with a clear summary of your joint financial circumstances, preliminary proposals and specific questions, is likely to maximise the benefits of a solicitor’s time and expertise.


What is your Privacy Policy? We undertake to ensure that any personal data or information relating to your enquiry or any subsequent appointments is managed in accordance with data protection regulation.


1. You have right of access to ask, either verbally or in writing, about the information which is held about you. You also have the right to correct this information. There is normally no charge for this and the timescale for responding is one month.

2. You have the right to request that your personal data is erased.

3. Only information relevant to the particular circumstances and the issues for mediation is collected from you, the other party in the dispute and any other third party referrer(s). This includes information such as contact details.

4. Your personal data or information is not shared with any third party for the purposes of direct or other marketing and your data or information is never shared without your expressed permission excepting as is set out below.

  • For professional and quality assurance standards a professional practice consultant may have sight of your file on a strictly controlled and confidential basis.
  • Anonymised details relating to your case or outcome may be used for training and research purposes.
  • Information shared with your mediator regarding harm to you or to another person may need to be shared with the appropriate safeguarding agency. We will always seek to discuss this with you should it arise.
  • We cannot keep confidentiality of information where there is an over-riding obligation in law or regulation that requires disclosure of such information.
  • Should a matter be referred to a membership organisation or to any other regulator in respect of a formal complaint, information or your file may be released to either or both for the purposes of resolving the matter.

5. Your information is kept securely and email attachments which detail the outcome of a mediation appointment /process - and/or summaries of financial figures are password protected before they are sent to you.

6. Where exceptions to confidentiality apply, any information which may be shared would be shared securely.

7. Your information is securely disposed of within two years of your last contact with the service, with the exception of invoices which are kept for the time required by HMRC for tax purposes.

8. If we become aware of an error or breach in respect of the processing of your data, we will make you aware of it.

9. You have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner Office, if you do not consider your data has been processed in accordance with this policy and data protection regulation, see www.ico.org.uk .


Data Controller, Tanja Dodd