More about mediation 2016-11-27T13:27:15+00:00
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More about mediation

We’ve compiled a list of simple FAQ’s for Mediation below. Don’t forget, if you have any questions please feel free to ask, we’re here to help!

At the very beginning of the actual mediation, the mediator will ask you both to sign an agreement to mediate, after checking with both of you that you understand what it says and that you both know how mediation works. The agreement to mediate is a standard document, used by all qualified family mediators, and is something that is required by the Family Mediation Council, which regulates all family mediators. The mediation cannot go ahead unless the agreement to mediate has been signed.
Our mediators use a combination of the different kinds of mediation, such as co-mediation or shuttle mediation. Our mediators are trained to tailor the process to the specific needs of your family, so don’t be surprised if the process your mediator uses looks a little different to those you have read about elsewhere. Family mediation is developing all the time, and sometimes borrows different styles from other forms of mediation, including techniques used in non-family property disputes or some variations used in other countries. Provided the core principles are respected, your HeadSpace mediator is free to work in a creative way to make sure that the family mediation process chosen for you will suit your personal circumstances.

Shuttle mediation is where we use two rooms at the same location. You and your former partner each stay in your own separate room, and the mediator or mediators ‘shuttle’ between you. There is no face to face communication between you, so it can be a good way to help clients negotiate safely. However, you should be aware that this kind of mediation doesn’t help to develop better communication in the way that other forms of mediation can.

Shuttle mediation sessions usually take longer than other mediation sessions. Sometimes lawyers are involved in this form of mediation too, each person bringing his or her own lawyer and consulting with them about the options available as the mediation progresses. Sessions involving lawyers, sometimes known as caucus mediations, are more expensive, and tend to take quite a long time. Our mediators often participate in shuttle mediations, and are comfortable inviting lawyers, and indeed other professionals, into the process.

Co-mediation is very common and involves you meeting with two qualified mediators together in one room, and all four of you talking through the issues and the possible solutions together. HeadSpace mediators are all trained to co-mediate. Your mediator will suggest co-mediation when they think it will be especially useful to have one mediator for each of you. It is very common for co-mediators to be a man and a woman, and sometimes for them to be from different backgrounds (for example one from a legal background and one from a therapy/counselling background). Obviously this has a cost implication but your mediator will explain this to you.
The mediator doesn’t make any decisions; you yourselves work out what proposals you both think you would like to take forward. The proposals agreed through mediation will only become legally binding if you ask your lawyers to create a legally binding agreement.
Either of you can stop the mediation process at any time; mediation will only go ahead if both of you want it to. Mediators are impartial. The mediator does not take sides, and is always there for both of you. Mediators don’t give advice, although they do give information about legal principles and explain some of the things you should be thinking about. The mediator doesn’t ever make any decisions for you; you work out between you what proposals you think you would like to take to lawyers, so that you can get advice and help before deciding to turn your proposals into a legally binding agreement.
The information clients share with the mediator is kept confidential, with some very limited exceptions (similar to the exceptions that apply to lawyers, therapists and counsellors). Proposals put forward during mediation cannot be referred to in court proceedings. If you try to mediate but it doesn’t work, the court will never be told why the mediation wasn’t successful.

Your mediator will make sure that each of you has an opportunity to explain what you think and feel and that each of you has the opportunity to consider all the important factors before you decide what you want to do. If your mediator believes that one or both of you should have more time to consider all the options open to you, or you need more information to understand the options, then your mediator will make sure that this happens before continuing with the mediation.

We have various safeguards and checks in place to ensure that mediation sessions are carried out in the safest situation possible. Your mediator may stop the mediation if there is abuse or bullying and will do so if one person persistently behaves in way that is intimidating or distressing.

Many people find talking to their partner about what should happen after a separation or divorce very stressful and upsetting. Family mediation can give you a safe place to resolve your differences at your own pace. Family mediators are specially trained to look out for any domestic abuse issues that may affect your family, and also for other problems that might make negotiation between family members especially difficult. Family mediators will not allow you to mediate if they do not believe you will be safe.

We also have several rooms available to conduct the mediation and ‘shuttle’ style mediation is common. This is where you and your former partner have separate consulting rooms whilst the mediator moves between you to work towards an agreement.

Need some help navigating your way through separation and divorce?

We’re here to help! We’re not solicitors and we like to think we’re a little different. We are trained professionals adopting an ethical practice with empathy as well as efficiency; we never lose sight that this is your choice, your life and your family. We offer you comfort and security whilst supporting you through what can be a very emotional and challenging time.

Just click the button and send us a few details about yourself, and what you think you’re looking for, and we’ll be in touch with you soon to help decide.

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