Monthly Archives: April 2011
The only circumstances where parties will not be required to attend mediation prior to commencing proceedings will be in serious circumstances where there are allegations of domestic violence or child protection. However, even in these circumstances if both parties do want to try mediation rather than issuing court proceedings, special arrangements can be made for what is called ‘shuttle mediation’. This is when both parties attend mediation together but the session takes place in separate rooms. There will usually be two mediators in this circumstance and they will go from room to room to try and reach an agreement. The two parties will not be required to meet face to face unless they both request to do so.
Mediation is not a means of attempting reconciliation. There are organisations available to assist when parties wish to receive professional help to reconcile. Referrals to such organisations can be considered and information provided as required.
No, mediation can be used for the majority of cases where a dispute arises between families. Mediation is often a successful service for discussing matters in relation to children or organising contact and residence. Mediation can be assessed in every circumstance to see whether it would be a suitable way to resolve a disagreement.
Mediation is not suitable for all cases and agreement will not always be reached. The individual circumstances of every case will need to be addressed to decide how to proceed if mediation is not suitable, or fails to reach an agreement.
The whole process generally takes four to five months from the start of divorce proceedings until the conclusion of financial matters. Mediation does not postpone the divorce proceedings and in most circumstances it ensures that proceedings can be concluded without unnecessary delay.
Once you have reached an agreement which you both find acceptable, the mediator will prepare a summary of the agreement, together with a summary of any financial information if applicable. A copy will be sent to each of you to discuss with your Family Solicitors.
Not everyone is ready for family mediation at the same stage in separating, so the mediator needs to find out whether it is suitable for both of you. This is often done at an assessment and information meeting, when any concerns and questions you might have can be addressed. The mediator will also check eligibility for free publicly funded mediation and explain charges if you are not eligible.
A Mediator is an independent person who will help disputing parties to try and reach resolution. A mediator will meet with you and the other party, identify those issues you can’t agree on and help you to try and reach agreement. Mediators are neutral and will not take sides in any dispute.
The new Family Proceedings Rules were introduced on 6th April 2011. The rules reform the existing procedures for Family Law.
One of the main introductions contained within the rules is the inclusion of compulsory mediation within divorce proceedings. This means that all separating and divorcing couples will be referred to mediation to try and settle matters before being allowed to make an application to the court.
Our Middlesbrough Solicitor advises;-
- The purpose of a Child Protection Conference is to bring professionals together with the family of a child at possible risk of harm;