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Mediation Process

It is essential to understand how our mediation process works. Having an understanding before signing up to the program will be helpful, depending on your circumstances. It will also be beneficial for those who intend to use Legal Aid to fund the program.

Our mediation process is broken into three primary stages. Though, at times, some aspects of the program may vary slightly depending on your unique circumstance.

First Stage – The Mediation Information and Assessment Program

Your first appointment can usually be arranged within a few days of you getting in touch with us. However, if you need to meet urgently, it can be arranged within a day too. Generally, the meeting does not take more than 30 minutes, but it also partly depends on how many questions you have about the system. That said, the meeting allows you to find out about how our mediation system works, speak with the mediator, and decide if this is the right path for you. We will also discuss important aspects of the program, like how many sessions you might need, the cost associated with the program, and if you might qualify for legal aid if that’s something you’re considering.

The mediator also provides prospects with important information about other services that will help support you and options you may want to utilize to resolve the issue. However, if you decide to take up our mediation program, we will contact this other person if you think it is appropriate and invite them to join the session.

It is important to note that if either person isn’t willing to mediate or if the mediator does see them suitable for the program, an appropriate certificate may be issued. The certificate may be required if you make an application to the court. It is essential to point out that not all mediation services can issue such certificates. However, we see them as helpful for prospects who may be found not suitable for mediation regardless of the reason.

Second Stage – Joint Mediation

Now, if in the case we see that both of you need a mediator, then a joint meeting is planned and organized. We can’t tell you exactly how many meetings will be needed, but it usually is:

1-2 Mediation Sessions: These sessions are for child-only cases to discuss cases like contact residence, child maintenance, and parental responsibility, amongst other things.

3-4 Mediation Sessions: Generally geared towards financial cases like savings, pensions, debts, housing, etc.

3-5 Mediation Sessions: These sessions are for all other issues like sorting out finances, and kids, etc.

Both people participating will pay a fee for each session, but if you qualify for Legal Aid, then it will be paid for via the system. You will want to check the ‘costs’ section of the website for further information.

Third Stage – Summaries

The summaries are prepared at the end of the mediation sessions. The summary sets out essential points like the proposals you’ve made, i.e., the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is a legally privileged document. If there is a financial case, then we will prepare the OFS or Open Financial Summary. However, in the event that the case breaks down, generally depending on how and when the case ends, the mediator may also consider drafting a summary letter. The summary letter will layout the position which was reached during the sessions.

We tend to charge for summaries or summary letters. However, it is just a one-off fixed fee, which you can pay either before the initial session or during it. Using the summary, you can take the required legal advice. It will also help your solicitor draft a legally binding agreement if needed.

Professional Mediators

We have a team of independent and highly experienced mediation specialists. Our family mediation is confidential and available 7-days a week. So, a time and place can be scheduled that best needs the needs of your dispute and will help to encourage a satisfactory outcome.

Our goal with every mediation session is to ensure that the conflict is solved in the shortest time possible. It is also our desire for the outcome to be beneficial to both parties. We do this by promoting open and free discussion, which helps each party understand the other’s viewpoint. Furthermore, it helps in reaching a solution that is agreeable to everyone.

The above three stages have worked and continue to prove exceptional in helping resolve disputes. However, the first and most crucial step of the mediation process is to get in touch with us to assess the situation and mark the mandatory steps of the process moving forward. You will be aided and guided each step of the way to ensure that an outcome/agreement is reached sooner instead of later.

Call us today to start the mediation process.