So you are about to attend your first family mediation session…don’t panic! Hopefully you will have attended a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) and so an accredited mediator will have already explained the process to you and assessed whether your case is suitable for mediation.
Before your mediation session...
- Get a good nights sleep.
- Arrive 10 minutes early.
- Find out what your options might be.
- Centre and calm yourself, slow your mind and breath.
- Get your emotions in check; it may involve some uncomfortable situations.
- Make sure you have completed and returned your mediation information form.
- Make sure all documents are exchanged in advance so that everyone has time to look through all of the information.
Remember you’re trying to make progress and move matters forward.
Please note: we request payment for mediation on the day.
- If children are involved, try to think about their needs and feelings.
- You can stop at any time -mediation is voluntary.
- You can speak to the mediator individually if you have any concerns.
- Listen to what the other party says, be open to their perspective.
- Be prepared to negotiate, mediation is all about compromise.
- Think outside the box to find innovative solutions.
Remember everything is confidential and will stay in the mediation room.
After your mediation session...
- Try to look at what you have achieved and the progress you have made.
- Read the sessional record to make sure what you think was concluded is accurately recorded.
- Think about taking legal advice.
- Remember these conclusions have been made because they work for you both, this might involve compromises, but they are not yet binding.
- You can return to mediation at any time if you think things are not working or can be improved.
Things to avoid with mediation...
In order to have the most beneficial session, here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Try not to use absolutes, such as “He/she ‘never’ does X”, or “I was ‘always’ doing Y”. It won’t help mediation and will often sidetrack parties.
- Try to avoid negative labels or insulting behavior.
- Successful mediation requires openness and honesty. If you omit or misrepresent any information it is likely to come out!
- Try to avoid rehearsing old arguments and focus on the future instead.
SUCCESSFUL mediation REQUIRES openness and honesty, if you omit or misrepresent any information it is likely to come out!
Our team of family mediators
Maria Ramon, Senior Associate
Maria is a member of the College of Mediators and is registered with the Family Mediation Council. Alongside her mediation work, she is also a specialist in family law and advises on the practical aspects as well as the division of assets following separation both for married couples and cohabiting couples. Maria also specialises in cases where arrangements for children need to be resolved.
Chris Lloyd-Smith, Senior Associate
Chris is a Resolution trained family mediator and has been accredited by the Family Mediation Council. Alongside his work as a mediator, he also practises as a family solicitor. Chris has been qualified since 2004 and during that time has gained significant experience in all areas of family law. He has been accredited as a solicitor by Resolution as a specialist in both financial matters and those involving children.