Countrywide Mediation Bath, like most other types of mediation, is a voluntary procedure. All items addressed throughout the process will remain strictly secret, allowing you to openly share the most sensitive concerns with your mediator.
The mediation procedure is completely private and protected by privilege. By virtue of privilege, the information you discuss cannot be used against you in court. Therefore, you might propose to compromise your stance during family mediation, but retain a more beneficial position in court if the dispute is not resolved.
What is included in family mediation?
The first step in family mediation is a “Mediation Information Assessment Meeting” (MIAM). This assesses whether mediation will be appropriate based on the circumstances of the participants and if it will aid them in reaching an agreement.
Participants will choose a family mediator at an MIAM. This will be a neutral and unbiased individual whose primary purpose will be to assist both parties in negotiating and resolving their disagreements.
The mediator will not render a judgement or impose a conclusion on any of the parties involved in the family mediation. Additionally, the mediator will not take sides. Instead, they will urge the parties to recognise their differences and take efforts to resolve them peacefully outside of court.
When should a family mediator be used?
Typically, family mediators assist in resolving problems within marriages, civil partnerships, and cohabitation relationships. They may assist in settling a variety of issues, including:
• Who acquires property ownership? (such as a family house)
• How are monetary assets allocated? (such as cash in bank accounts)
• With whom will the children reside and how will they be supported?
• How will the divide ultimately play out?
The family mediation procedure does not exclude the participation of attorneys. However, it is sometimes more effective for the parties to attend mediation without their attorneys and to seek independent legal counsel outside of the process.
What advantages does family mediation offer?
Legal practitioners often recommend family mediation to their clients because:
• An independent procedure – The parties will have the option to resolve their disagreement.
• A more amicable means of resolving disagreements; it may sustain excellent connections between parties.
• Confidential – All family mediation discussions and documentation are confidential, meaning they cannot be shared without the consent of all parties.
• Adaptable – Participants have more influence over the family mediation process than they would in court.
• Capable of producing customised outcomes – In family mediation, all concerns are considered, therefore the majority of outcomes are actually unique.
Are any agreements reached via mediation enforceable?
Any agreements reached during mediation are not enforceable in court, since they are not legally binding. However, by exploring all settlement alternatives via mediation, both parties are more likely to reach a compromise. This indicates that you will likely find the settlement more enticing compared to the probable hassle of legal proceedings.
During the mediation process, you may have a lawyer review any agreements reached. Parties often do this because the agreement may be used in court to obtain a Consent Order.
Is mediation mandated by the court?
In short, absolutely. If you want to go to the courts to settle one of the following conflicts, you must first attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM)
• Child Arrangements Order
• Order for Special Guardianship
• Parental Obligation Order
• Steps Prohibited Order
• Particular Issue Order
• A court order naming a child’s guardian
• Order Removing Jurisdiction
Importantly, you will not be required to attend MIAM if any of the following emergency processes or directives are now in effect:
• Adoption procedures
• Supervision measures
• Consent order
• Security order
• Supervision directive
If you qualify for one of the exclusions stated in paragraph 3 of the C100 application form, you may be excluded from attending MIAM.
How long does mediation typically last?
Meditation sessions average between one and two hours in duration.
Family mediation is more expeditious than court settlements because parties have more influence over the process. Participants who want to expedite the mediation process might arrange many sessions at the outset and in rapid succession.
In contrast to continuous family litigation, mediation may be quick and successful, particularly when both parties want to resolve their differences amicably.
What disadvantages does family mediation have?
There are several downsides to adopting family mediation as opposed to judicial settlement. Among the primary causes are:
• It is typically difficult for mediators to convince a participant to cooperate while negotiating an appropriate middle ground.
• The mediator cannot compel parties to provide financial documentation.
• It may be expensive and time-consuming if the procedure does not result in a settlement.
In other kinds of mediation, such as family law arbitration or family litigation, the conclusion is guaranteed by the court. In family mediation, no such assurance exists.
What if mediation fails to provide a resolution?
If the matter cannot be resolved via family mediation, you will have to seek a resolution through the courts. The most frequent cause of mediation failure is when one of the parties involved refuses to attend. Another possibility is that the mediator believes that mediation is ineffective.
Regardless of the cause, for mediation to be successful, both parties must be amiable and prepared to compromise.