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Prettys Solicitors Ipswich

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Mediation

If you are considering mediation for a divorce, separation or to help resolve a family dispute, you will need information on how it will work. Prettys solicitors in Ipswich & Chelmsford has helped many people to arrange mediation services and here we look at what is involved.

Who is present?

You and the other party attend meetings together with an independent trained mediator whose function is help you both explore the issues and decide on outcomes that best meet your needs. Parties attend mediation meetings without their solicitors. In some instances, other specialists such as accountants, IFA’s and valuers may be brought in to assist in the mediation process directly with you or by providing a written report for the mediation process.

What are the rules?

Mediation is a neutral and consensual process and you need to be comfortable sitting in a room with each other, together with the Mediator.  Meetings are legally privileged which means that information other than about the existence of financial assets remains confidential and cannot be used outside the Mediation process. This encourages open and constructive dialogue.  Discussions are also without prejudice which means that potential settlement scenarios can be explored in a non-binding way unless or until the parties choose to be bound.

How does it work?

If you both agree, the Mediator will meet with you and the other party, individually, to understand your position and how you feel about face to face discussions in order to be sure that mediation is likely to work. If, after that first individual session, the Mediator considers with you that the case is suitable, the first joint session is arranged.

The parties attend the Mediation sessions without their respective solicitors although any solicitor instructed can provide background advice before and between sessions. 

How long does it take?

Mediation meetings tend to last between 60 and 90 minutes and several meetings may be needed to reach a successful outcome.  Family cases typically need between 4 and 6 meetings.

What happens with the outcomes reached?

If a successful outcome is reached this is recorded by the mediator in a “Memorandum of Understanding” which the parties take to their solicitors for conversion into whatever format of documentation has been agreed, such as a consensual court order application.

What happens if it doesn’t work?

If a solution cannot be reached other methods of resolution remain available so the parties lose nothing by trying to resolve disputes in this way.  Even if full agreement has not been reached the areas of dispute may have been narrowed.  It is still an option to apply to the court.

What happens if the other party is a Litigant in Person?

The mediation can still proceed as it is not a requirement that you each instruct solicitors separate to the mediation process.

What should I do now?

If you would like to try a self-help guide to assist in choosing what styles of resolution may suit you click here. If you are considering mediation for a divorce or other type of dispute, the Family Team is here to help you. To speak to us call our Ipswich & Chelmsford offices on 01473 232121, request a call back here or e-mail us here.

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