Whilst what is discussed in the mediation sessions is decided by you and your ex partner or spouse it is your mediator, Juliette Kinsey, who facilitates the mediation process. There are up to four stages in the mediation process.
The first stage is an initial appointment between you and Juliette to discuss how mediation may be able to assist you and your ex partner or spouse reach agreements about financial matters or issues regarding the children. The appointment lasts for up to one hour and is there to enable you to talk confidentially with Juliette about the issues that concern you.
If after that meeting you wish to proceed with mediation then Juliette will contact your ex partner to see whether he or she wishes to attend an initial meeting to explore whether mediation is a way forward.
If your ex partner or spouse is prepared to engage in the mediation process then arrangements will be made for your first joint mediation meeting.
This leads to Stage Two of the process.
The second stage of the mediation process is when you and your ex partner meet together for the first time with Juliette to commence the mediation process. Many participants describe the first meeting as the hardest so it is understandable if you find yourself feeling nervous or anxious about the prospect.
The purpose of the first joint meeting is to identify what the two of you would like to discuss in the mediation sessions and decide what, if any, tasks need to be undertaken by the two of you in order to enable those discussions to progress. Both of you will be required to sign a Mediation Agreement that sets out what is expected from both of you during the process.
If you are seeking to resolve issues regarding financial matters then the two of you may have to produce financial paperwork and undertake some financial disclosure such as the production of wage slips or a mortgage statement and house valuation. These requirements will be discussed during the meeting and a timetable agreed about what will happen next and when.
The third stage of the process is a series of joint meetings in which you both discuss the issues that concern you both and that you wish to resolve. Juliette will mediate between the two of you, help facilitate dialogue between you both and ensure that you both remain focused on what the two of you are trying to achieve – solutions.
Once the two of you have reached those solutions then you can both decide to either conclude your mediation process at this stage or to have those solutions contained within a document called a Memorandum of Understanding. This document sets out what has been agreed between you both and what is going to happen in the future.
If you both decide to have a Memorandum of Understanding drawn up this leads to the fourth and final stage.
This stage is undertaken by Juliette. Juliette will produce a Memorandum of Understanding setting out what has been achieved between the two of you. If it is intended that what has been agreed should be put in a court order, then this document can be given to your solicitors so that they may then prepare the court papers to ensure that what has been agreed between you both becomes legally binding.